By Astrid Hall
It’s official ‘man flu’ DOES exist – or at least men believe it does, according to research.
Researchers who carried out a detailed study found men call in sick and go to the doctors more frequently with common colds than women do.
The poll of 2,000 adults also revealed one in 12 men have visited the doctor with a runny nose.
But despite men taking more time off work for the common cold, 84 per cent claim to ‘battle through’ a cold as much as possible without letting it affect day-to-day life.
Further bad news for blokes is that women reckon their partners embellish their ‘illness’ when suffering from man-flu.
More than half the women who took part (55 per cent) said their bloke regularly ‘exaggerated’ the symptoms and 49 per cent went as far as to say this sparked arguments.
The study also found 63 per cent of men claim to ‘battle through’ flu, but experts believe they are actually more likely to be suffering from the sniffles.
Nick Thayer, Pharmacist at Well Pharmacy, which commissioned the survey, said: “When suffering from a cold, it is feasible that a person can keep going and power through their symptoms.
”However, it’s a misconception that people can ‘battle through’ flu, as symptoms are too severe and can last for weeks.
“Only 56 per cent of men in this survey called in sick to work and only 55 per cent cancelled social plans when they thought they had flu, which would suggest to me that they probably just had a particularly nasty cold rather than flu, where symptoms of fever, fatigue, vomiting and muscle pain are likely to leave you bedridden with little choice in the matter.”
Cases of ‘man flu’ are resulting in women being less compassionate, with just half of women showing signs of sympathy compared to 66 per cent of males.
And any sympathy mustered lasts just 33 hours on average.
With that said, females are more likely to take care of their loved one with 61 per cent topping up medication and generally making their partner feel comfortable.
Nearly 40 per cent of women said their partner refuses to do anything due to sickness, and reported feeling under pressure to do more around the house as a result.
Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the study conducted by OnePoll.com, found over a third of those polled agreed illness caused arguments in their relationship
And 10 per cent admitted they won’t even come near each other for fear of getting sick.
Despite flu having a significant impact on the quality of life of those surveyed, nearly half had never had a flu vaccination.
Just under two fifths of Brits haven’t had the vaccination because it hasn’t been explicitly recommended to them by a healthcare professional with one quarter under the impression it’s mainly for the elderly.
And one third believing they are healthy and don’t need one.
Nick Thayer from Well Pharmacy continued, “This research highlights the fact that people usually only get a flu jab if a medical professional has told them to. If the jab hasn’t been recommended for them, then fit and healthy adults often don’t get one.
“I would recommend that everyone who can get a flu jab, gets a flu jab. The vaccination helps to protect you, your family, and other people in your local community from the virus who may be at high risk of serious illnesses like pneumonia or even death if they contracted it.
“And the flu jab is not just available at your doctors. You can pop into your local pharmacy for the flu vaccination, without an appointment – something that only half of those surveyed were aware of.”
Well pharmacy offers flu jabs for free if eligible on the NHS, or £9 for customers who are not eligible for a free vaccination. Check your eligibility here: www.well.co.uk/our-health-services/wellbeing-services/flu-jab-eligibility/