Health myths busted: News 4 checks in on your seasonal concerns

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –  You’ve heard it all before: Coffee is both good and bad for you, or cracking your knuckles could make them double in size. There’s a seemingly endless list of medical myths that just won’t go away.

When it comes to medical myths, we put Family Medicine Physician Dr. Joseph Chow to the test.

So we asked him, “Can you can get the flu from the flu shot?” He said that’s a myth. He said, “You cannot get the flu from receiving a flu shot. The flu vaccine has an inactivated or dead virus. So you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. Some people will describe some side effects. You can get a little achi-ness or fever, but those are side effects. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot.”
Feeling a cold coming on? “Do you need antibiotics if your sputum, or snot is green or yellow?” Dr. Chow said that’s a myth.
“Sputum we’ll call it, can turn color essentially because your body is trying to fight something off. If you think about anything that sits around for awhile can actually change color also. So just because you have green or yellow sputum does not mean you need antibiotics.”
And what about staying clean? “Is antibacterial soap better to use then regular soap and water?” Dr. Chow said that’s a myth too. He said, “Antibacterial soap is not necessarily better then regular soap. Now we’re recommending just the act of washing your hands, whether that’s with regular soap or antibacterial soap doesn’t matter. It’s really the act of the warm water and the soap and the time to wash your hands.”
All of us are using computers, T.V’s and Ipads daily. Fact or myth: “Can sitting too close to those screens ruin your eyesight?”  Dr. Chow said that’s a myth too. “My mother used to say that to me too, probably to get me not to watch T.V. Sitting too close to the T.V. doesn’t ruin your eyesight. It can cause strain, but it will not ruin your eyesight.”

Dr. Chow also tells us, coffee is good for you, and cracking your knuckles will not damage them. If you’re playing with BB guns, is it possible to shoot your eye out? Dr, Chow said that is definitely possible. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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