Seasonal Shifts and Susceptibility to Illness: Understanding the Why and How
All of us like winters, but what we love is the weather before winter finally arrives. With the pleasant breeze and clear skies, it’s the...
As the times change, so does our susceptibility to disease. The cooler temperatures and dry air create more favorable conditions for bacteria and viruses to survive and spread.
One of the main reasons we are more likely to get sick during the colder months is because our immune systems are not as strong. Cold air can clog our blood vessels, which can make it more difficult for white blood cells to reach the point where they need to fight infection In addition, the lack of sunlight can cause vitamin D deficiency important for immune recovery.
Another reason is that when the weather changes, we are more likely to get sick because we spend so much time indoors. This means we have more contact with other potentially sick people, and we also have more germs to circulate in confined spaces
There are a few things you can do to reduce your risk of illness during the colder months.
Get a flu and pneumonia vaccine.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
Avoid close contact with patients.
Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Deal with stress.
If you do get sick, there are a few things you can do to alleviate symptoms and help your body heal.
Get plenty of rest.
Drink plenty of water.
Gargle with salt water.
Use a humidifier to cool the air.
Take medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to ease the fever and pain.
If your symptoms worsen or do not improve after a few days, see a doctor.