10 common winter illnesses everyone should know about but not worry about.
Even if you feel energetic and healthy all through the spring, summer, and fall, when it comes to the winter, no one is safe. When you’re cooped up indoors all day within proximity to others who might already be sick, just one cough or sneeze can leave you under the weather for days. “We spend more time in enclosed spaces, close to each other so that we have more prolonged face-to-face contact,” William Schaffner, MD, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told Healthline. He notes that viruses thrive in cold weather when there’s no humidity. As a result, “the virus remains in the air for a sufficiently prolonged time so that the person who is sufficiently close to me can breathe it in.” Now that you know just how susceptible you are to getting sick this season, here are the 15 most common winter illnesses to watch out for.
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A study published in Nature Communications attributes it to our changing genes. The study concludes that “roughly 25% of all the chunks of DNA that code for various behaviors and traits in our bodies, otherwise known as genes, shift significantly with the seasons.” (Influenza viruses also peak in winter.) The best thing you can do is get prepared for some of the illnesses you and your family might face during the cold months. Here, from the Remedy, are 20 of the most common winter diseases you should look out for this season.
The winter time is synonymous with common colds because they usually run rampant during these colder months. According to Dr. Darria Long Gillespie, “with the dry climate and colder temperatures, the rhinovirus—the bug that’s the most common cause of the cold—tends to thrive.” While colds are annoying and can make you feel groggy and sluggish, you can usually complete regular activities as usual.
The Rx: The best way to prevent a common cold is to stop the spread of germs. Wash your hands frequently. If a family member is sick with a cold, don’t share dishware and wipe down surfaces inside the home, including light switches and countertops, with disinfectant frequently. If you do get a cold, consider taking decongestants and resting as needed. You can also use saline rinses or a humidifier to open up your stuffy nose.
Common Winter Illnesses
You may help stop colds by cleaning your hands frequently. This damages bugs that you might have picked up from coming in contact with surfaces utilized by other people, including door handles and light switches. It’s also essential to maintain the home and any household things just like mugs, cups, and bath towels clean, specifically if somebody in your home is sick.
2. Sore throat
Sore throats are widespread in winter and are nearly always brought on by viral microbe infections. There’s some proof that transformations in temperature, just like moving from a warming, centrally heated room to the frozen outside, may as well affect the throat. It will not cure the illness, but it has anti-inflammatory traits and may have a calming effect.
Icy air is the main cause of asthma signs of illness such as wheezing and difficulty breathing. People with asthma need to be specifically very careful in winter.
Also called the winter vomiting bug, norovirus is an infectious tummy bug. It can easily affect the year but is more widespread in winter and locations such as hospitals, nursing facilities, hotels, and colleges.
The illness is annoying, but it’s generally over within a short time.
Flu may be the main killer of vulnerable persons. People aged 60 and over, pregnant women, and people with long-term health diseases, such as kidney disease, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are specifically at risk. The best method to stop having influenza is to get the flu jab. The influenza vaccine provides good safeguards from flu and continues for 12 months. If you are aged 60 and after or have a permanent health disorder, you are also qualified for the pneumococcal vaccine, which usually gives safeguard from pneumonia.
6. Painful joints
A lot of people with arthritis state that their joints turn more unpleasant and inflexible in winter, although it’s not clear why this is the health situation. There’s no proof that transformations in weather conditions trigger joint problems.
7. Cold sores
The majority of us identify that cold sores are an indication that we’re infuriated or under stress. While there’s no treatment for cold sores, you may decrease the possibility of having one by taking care of yourself during winter.
8. Heart attacks
Heart attacks are more regular in winter. This might be because the cold climate boosts blood pressure and puts more stress on the heart. Your heart also needs to work harder to keep body heat when it’s icy.
9. Cold hands and feet
Raynaud’s phenomenon is a general condition that would make your fingers and toes switch color and become very distressing in cold weather. Fingers may go blue, then white, then red, and throb and tingle. The tiny blood vessels of the feet and hands go into spasm, quickly lowering blood flow to the hands and feet. In serious cases, medicine may help, but most people find a way to live with their signs of illness.
10. Dry skin
Dry skin is a regular condition and is often more serious during the winter when external humidity is low. Moisturizing is important during winter. Unlike popular belief, moisturizing creams and lotions aren’t soaked up by the skin. Instead, they work as a sealant to prevent the skin’s natural moisture from going away. The very best time to use moisturizer is after a shower or bath whilst your skin is still wet, and again at bedtime.
- Avoid contact with people that are already unwell
- Teach your child hand hygiene. Teach them to use tissue paper when they are coughing or sneezing. If tissue paper is not available, tell them to cough or sneeze in the area where the elbow bends. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to disinfect palms and the back of the hand.
- All cold medications contain paracetamol in some form, so do not use both cough medications and paracetamol separately. Take paracetamol only to reduce pain, headache, and fever.
- Do not self-medicate. Go to your Family Doctor.
- Stay home, and take a rest.
- Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year before flu activity begins in wintertime. Consult your physician for the same.