From the days when “not worrying about it” was the most frequent remedy for most medical problems, our understanding of health and healthcare has come a long way. The average individual today is far more knowledgeable about healthcare than they were even a few centuries ago, all because to the advances in medicine over the previous few centuries.
But not all of that information is true. Some old myths persist because science and technology are advancing our understanding of our own bodies more quickly than we can keep up with them.
10 Set Fire to the Injuries
Movies are the source of some of the most enduring fallacies regarding healthcare. Naturally, since they are motion pictures, they are meant to be fictitious portrayals of reality; yet, these false beliefs lead to actual issues, such as in emergency medical circumstances.
One of them is the belief that a bleeding wound should be burned, usually with an iron rod, if there isn’t a hospital nearby. It was a common theme in war films, fantasy stories set in the Middle Ages, dramas set in hospitals, and many other genres of film, which led a lot of us to conclude that it was the most effective technique to treat a critical wound.
Burning is a legitimate method for treating certain types of wounds, but it’s often performed on a much smaller scale, by surgeons and other highly qualified medical professionals, with sensitive instruments. Not only is it needlessly dramatic, but searching for a big, blazing piece of iron to, say, plug an arrow or bullet wound would actually make the victim’s situation much worse. It would undoubtedly halt the bleeding and sanitize the surrounding area, but it would also cause a burn. That might have been contaminated by other, perhaps more dangerous airborne bacteria and fungus, since burns are prone to infection.
When a trained practitioner is not available, the best course of action for treating a wound is to cover it with cloth and apply pressure.
9 CPR Is Almost Always Effective
Most people believe that CPR is a miracle treatment for anyone who passes out for whatever cause. It also frequently appears in motion pictures: a passenger collapses in midair, a flight attendant frantically asks if anyone knows CPR; the victim gets up, affirms, “I do,” and skillfully revives the victim.
In actuality, CPR is rarely effective when used alone; instead, it should be used in conjunction with other methods. CPR barely functions 2% of the time on its own, a far cry from the near-100% success rate depicted in movies. Further research reveals a somewhat greater success rate, but it is still quite low at only 10%, which is much lower than what most people assume to be the reality.
It isn’t meaningless, though. While CPR normally doesn’t work by itself or without the assistance of an expert, when combined with other medical treatments like supplemental oxygen, EMS attention, or hospital care, it can increase the survival rate to 40%.
8 Public Restrooms Can Spread Infections
Many of us avoid visiting public restrooms out of concern that we can contract unidentified illnesses like STDs. Public restrooms are definitely considered to be sites that could harbor hazardous infections, and it makes evolutionary and sanitary sense to avoid them.
While it’s true that some public restrooms are truly unfit for human use, the likelihood of becoming sick from even the worst of them is, statistically speaking, extremely low. The majority of infections that are now known to exist are too short-lived on most surfaces to spread to other people. In the unlikely event that they did make it through, an infection could only be contracted directly through the vaginal or urethral tract, or through an open wound or sore.
7 Use Ice to Treat Burns
It seems sense to apply ice to a burn wound to reduce the pain. Since ice is extremely cold and burns are created by extremely hot objects, they must cancel each other out. That’s undoubtedly the reason that when we burn, the majority of us automatically grab for the refrigerator rather than the first aid kit.
In actuality, the only appropriate approach to care for a burn wound is to run it under cool water for five to ten minutes, wash it with soap, and then use an anti-inflammatory and antibiotic cream to reduce the likelihood of infection until you can receive medical attention. However, ice could make matters considerably worse because it can cause skin irritation similar to that of burning.
6 Breaking Water While Giving Birth
One of the most misunderstood medical processes is childbirth, maybe due to the fact that so few of us have witnessed it firsthand. Movies and TV shows have taught us almost everything we know about it, and they nearly always get things incorrect.
Even though it’s impossible to discuss every common misconception surrounding labor here, we may discuss the one that’s most widely accepted: the water-breaking procedure. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a convenient or consistent indicator of when emergency care should be sought at the hospital. There have been instances where the lady breaks their water while asleep, but most of the time she is not even aware that it is happening.
Since it normally takes a while for the contractions to start, it’s entirely OK to wait at home for a few hours to make the appropriate arrangements once it happens, unlike the terrified and frantic dash to the hospital scenes we see in movies. When the water breaks in the middle of labor, you’re probably already at the hospital and receiving the necessary medical attention, so this is also a common occurrence.
5 Dates of Expiration
The meaning of a drug’s or medicine’s expiration date has long been a topic of discussion. According to pharmaceutical corporations, this is the longest period of time they can guarantee a drug’s potency and safety. Anecdotal and scientific research, however, indicates that expiration dates may not matter all that much and that practically all medications are still safe and effective years after they expire.
Drug makers typically have little motivation to evaluate a drug’s effects after years on the market and update its expiration date, even though it’s quite easy to do so. Conversely, expiration dates guarantee ongoing sales because most consumers discard old medication because they believe it to be worthless.
4 Examining in dim light Light Can Harm Your Eyes
It’s common knowledge that reading in low light can harm children’s eyes over time, therefore parents generally advise their children to avoid doing so. It makes some sense because reading in low light should cause some visual problems. But when we examine the science behind it, it turns out to be just one of those antiquated beliefs about general healthcare that have been disproven for a long time.
Long periods of reading in low light can undoubtedly result in temporary dryness, weariness, or even a slight headache, but none of those problems are really serious. Even while there is no evidence to suggest that it could be detrimental in any manner over the long term, your eye doctor would still likely advise against it because some of those symptoms may need to be treated with medication.
3 You Are Able to Will Your Illness Away
There is a common belief that one can improve by using mental power. Of course, not everyone who holds that view believes that viruses and germs may be truly killed by mental determination. Though, deep down, many of us assume that “positive thinking” could assist solve our physical issues if paired with medication and appropriate medical care.
But to put it in purely scientific terms, there is no truth to the idea. Though there’s no proof that it helps with any medical issue, thinking positively can undoubtedly make the time spent living with the illness more enjoyable. Not the placebo effect, which is a distinct phenomenon that functions more like medicine than willpowering the illness away.
2 Eat “For Two” While Expecting
It’s common advice for expectant mothers to “eat for two” during their pregnancy—double their diet. It makes sense from a basic standpoint—you would naturally need to eat more food to sustain the additional person inside of you.
That is obviously untrue because an embryo in the womb is not the same as an adult human. Pregnant women often need only an extra 300 calories per day to generate enough nourishment and food for the unborn child, depending on a few different conditions. That’s the same as one slice of whole grain bread and one spoonful of peanut butter.
Furthermore, overindulging in food during pregnancy might result in additional health issues like high blood pressure, back pain, and gestational diabetes.
1 Fish Oil Is Cardiovascular Beneficial
Due to the presence of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fish oil is frequently recommended as a fantastic supplement to treat heart issues. That being said, there hasn’t been much research on the topic.However, according to a new study, omega-3 fatty acids in general and fish oil specifically may even be detrimental to the heart. They have no effect on the risk of cardiac disease.
After administering fish oil to over 13,000 participants, the researchers discovered that the risk of suffering a cardiovascular event—most frequently, a heart attack—was equivalent for those who received a placebo. Additionally, abnormal heartbeats, or atrial fibrillation, were reported by 67% of those who took fish oil.