When temperatures drop, you might have noticed that we are more prone to catch illnesses. People tend to stay more inside that helps viruses to spread easily. In addition, the dry and cold air aggravates cough and common colds too. Although most of their symptoms are manageable, some tend to linger if left untreated.
Here are the 5 most common illnesses during winter:
The Common Colds
This is characterized by sneezing and a runny nose that usually lasts from 2 to 10 days. A person with a cold is highly contagious. That's why the best way to avoid the spread of colds is frequent handwashing. Decongestants, cough drops, and antihistamines can help with the symptoms. Complete rest and more liquids may speed your recovery.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes, where the air passages between the mouth, nose, and lungs. You may have bronchitis if you can't stop coughing, have an overproduction of mucus, experience shortness of breath, or have discomfort in your chest. There's no cure for it as it should clear up on its own within 2 weeks. With a humidifier, cough medicine, and pain reliever, your symptoms would be manageable.
Influenza is one of the most common illnesses during winter in most places. It is a viral respiratory illness that has the same symptoms as the common cold. However, flu is accompanied by more, such as fever, nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, headache, or cold sweats. Although influenza is often mild and healthy persons usually recover without needing medical care or antiviral drugs, certain persons are at high risk of developing serious flu complications. This includes people 65 years and older, people of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and children younger than 5 years. Such persons are encouraged to get a flu vaccine each year.
Relieve flu symptoms with rest, fluids, and medicines. In severe cases, antiviral medications like Tamiflu or Relenza may be prescribed to reduce the flu’s duration, severity, and risk of complications.
Arthritis is the tenderness or swelling of one or more of your joints. The main symptoms of arthritis are joint stiffness and pain. This pain usually gets worse with age. The most common kind of arthritis are rheumatoid arthritis(RA) and osteoarthritis (OA). A study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders examined participants with osteoarthritis (OA) and found that 67% of them were weather-sensitive and felt more joint pain during winter.
According to the Mayo Clinic, you can lessen painful joints by staying active through exercise and by managing your weight. Also, continue taking prescribed medications and stay positive throughout the season.
It's very common during winter to experience eczema. Eczema is a skin condition that causes red, inflamed skin, which becomes very dry and itchy. Eczema flare-ups are common in winter due to the air being drier than normal. There is no cure for eczema. However, we can lighten up the burden of its symptoms. Avoid hot baths and harsh soaps, try a humidifier, and drink plenty of water. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor.