One of the main issues that people have with the coming of winter is that they start to suffer from a range of health complaints. Cold and dry weather can end up causing a range of common complaints which we are going to focus on in more detail here. There are a range of ways that you can protect yourself against winter health issues and combat them if you do happen to suffer from any of these during the colder months.
One of the most common winter complaints is the flu – a virus that hits hardest when the weather starts to get colder. Studies have found that it is more stable when the air is cold and dry, and this is how it spreads from person to person much more easily. Essentially, the ways of guarding against the virus are all fairly common sense – getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated and eating a well-balanced diet. The same tips apply if you are unlucky enough to contract it. The flu shot is also an option if you are healthy enough, and in a high-risk group.
For some people, dry skin can be treated with some good-quality moisturiser. But for others, it can lead to cracks in the skin which can then become infected. Your hands are likely to suffer the most, so you should try washing them with a mild hand soap and drying them thoroughly afterwards. A good hand lotion can then help to lock in the moisture. One of the best prevention methods is simply wrapping up warm every time you step outside and keeping your skin covered up.
Your eyes may become irritated and dry during the winter months, and the dry winter atmosphere can lead to moisture evaporation. There are a few steps that you can take to help prevent against this condition. The first is humidifying your home to help deal with the drying atmosphere directly. To prevent body dehydration, you can also enjoy some warm soup as you don’t tend to feel much like drinking cold liquids when it is cold outside. Try to avoid blasting the warm air in your car as this is another cause of dry eyes. To treat dry eyes, there are various drops and remedies so click for more. They can become very irritating if left untreated.
Drastic changes in temperature can trigger joint pain, but there are some ways that you can manage this issue if it arises. Dressing warmly should be your first course of action (though this is something that you will probably want to do anyway!) but you should make sure to pay special attention to your head, hands and feet which is where a big percentage of your body heat is lost. Though it may be tempting to hibernate during the winter months, you should keep up a regular course of exercise as the joints are more likely to stiffen if you don’t.
Unfortunately, once you are infected with the virus that causes cold sores, it is something that never goes away. Any time your immune system is compromised, this issue can recur, but this is more likely to happen during the winter months. A few of the main triggers include exposure to wind and sun, fatigue and issues with your overall health. Just like any other virus (such as the flu which we already mentioned) the best way of recovering is with fluids, rest and nutrition. One method of treatment is with a drying agent such as alcohol and a cool, damp cloth. Regularly applying lip balm can also help prevent them from flaring up too often.
The cold weather can be a particularly unpleasant time for asthma sufferers, mainly due to the dry air, but also the amount of pollen and mold in the atmosphere. Staying indoors all winter isn’t going to be the answer and could even lead to other health issues, but it is worth checking the weather forecast for days when it is particularly cold and dry. You should drink extra fluids, vacuum and dust your home regularly to defend against dust building up, as well as washing your sheets and blankets on a regular basis.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
It is natural to feel more tired and sluggish when winter rolls around, but if you feel completely drained of energy, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Some experts point to the lack of sunlight that we receive during the winter months, which can end up disrupting your internal clock and affecting your body’s production of mood-regulating chemicals like serotonin and melatonin. Essentially, your best way of tackling this condition is by exercising regularly, getting outdoors and trying to find some more ways to take pleasure out of winter.
In extreme cold, heart attacks become more likely as your blood vessels constrict. This is why you should not step outside without making sure you are properly wrapped up during winter. However, if you are doing any physical activity outdoors, ensure that you wear layers so you can easily remove one or two if you feel like you are overheating. This is why shovelling snow can be a very risky activity, so it is worth investing in a snowblower to make this task easier.
So, there you have it – eight common winter health issues and a few ways that you can protect against and treat them. Of course, some of these are more serious than others, so you should seek medical support if you feel like this is something you need. Most of the preventative measures are ones which are common-sense. Check the weather forecast before leaving the house and make sure that you are properly wrapped up. Drink plenty of fluids and eat a balanced diet. Also, ensure that you get enough exercise even though it might be tempting to stay indoors during the whole season.