Beat the Winter Blues…!

December is here and Winter has arrived, along with it comes seasonal flu, colds and other ailments. It’s a myth where many people believe that cold is caught by not keeping yourself warm in winter or being exposed to chilling weather. Cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, when the virus particles are inhaled. The common cold is spread through infected person’s sneeze, speech and from loose particles from the nose while wiping. Virus can be spread by touching surfaces contaminated with respiratory secretions.

5 Commonhealth Problems in Winter, Prevention and Care 

Sorethroat: Painful,scratchy or dryness in the throat which later leads to pain is some of the mostcommon symptoms of sore throat. It is mostly caused due to infections andweather circumstances. 

Asthma: It is a lung disease, in whichinflammation and narrowing of the airways occur. Sneezing, coughing, chesttightening are some of its symptoms. There are two types of asthma: 

Allergic: Which is caused due to exposureto an allergen, such has dust, pollen, paint dust, smoke. 

Non-Allergic: Causedby cold, flu, stress or extreme weather. 

Painfuljoints:Orthopedicianssay that in cold weather’s, the human body will conserve more heat, and moreblood would be circulated to heart and lungs. So when this happens the arms,shoulders, knee joints blood vessels will contract leading to pain. 

Flu: Flu also called as Influenza,which is a severe illness caused due to contagious respiratory viruses. Thesymptoms vary from mild to severe which at times can result in hospitalizationand rarely death. Usually young kids or older people whose immune systems isweak are often targeted to flu’s. 

Heartattack: Elderlypeople are more at risk due to drop in body temperature (hypothermia) in thecolder months. The heart is affected by increased heart rate and bloodpressure, where the heart needs to function harder to keep the body warm. Thesechanges increase the risk of blood clots or thickening of the blood vesselswhich leads to heart attack and stroke. 

Preventionand Care

Washinghands thoroughly, covering mouth and nose to avoid dust, drinking plenty offluids, eating a Healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables to keep theimmune system strong. Regular exercise especially such as yoga and swimming isbeneficial for the long run. Use of antibiotics and self -medication is to beavoided. Vaccination recommended for elderly, children and people with chronicdiseases such as asthma and diabetes 

Dr. Narendra Prasad, Consultant Physician, Columbia Asia hospital, Hebbal 

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