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5 Common Winter Illnesses And Tips To Prevent Them

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

Common Winter Ailments

With a cool nip in the air, we can confirm that winter is finally here! It is the time of the year to indulge in rich foods, festivities and even vacations. While we look forward to being dolled up in our winter finery, we cannot ignore the fact that this winter season has an ugly side to it too. The winter ugliness rears its head in the form of diseases and health ailments!

A sudden drop in temperature brings with it health issues such as arthritis and heart ailments etc. However, the winter season is the time to look out for skin-related diseases and respiratory infections as well.

Common Winter Illnesses

How To Prevent Common Winter Ailments

1. Common Cold

The common cold is way too common and often we ignore it as something that is a part of changing season. Symptoms of a common cold include a sore throat, chest congestion, headache, sneezing, runny nose etc. Affecting adults and children alike, the common cold is expected to subside in a couple of days and doesn’t call for any serious medical intervention.

How To Prevent:

  • It is best to rest, eat homecooked food, drink ample fluids to get over this health issue.

2. Flu

While the flu is not a serious health ailment like the common cold, it should not be ignored. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by a virus that goes by the name ‘influenza’. It can be mild or severe as well. Similar to the cold, a flu patient experiences body ache, sore throat, fever, headaches etc. and these are enough to ruin the season.

How To Prevent:

  • Maintain respiratory hygiene, i.e., wash your hands frequently to avoid flu germs and bacteria.
  • Keep your mouth covered with your hands when you happen to cough or sneeze.
  • If someone has a cold, maintain distance.
  • Exercise daily to strengthen your immunity.

Vaccination against influenza is another important thing. For most people who need only one dose of flu vaccine for the season, September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated against flu.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

3. Strep Throat

A sore throat is very annoying and uncomfortable. But strep throat is worse! A strep throat is a severe version of a sore throat, with fever caused by an infection. It is caused by a bacterial infection and is very common among children. Symptoms of strep throat include difficulty and pain while swallowing food or water, headache, swollen lymph nodes, fever etc.

How To Prevent:

  • Consult a doctor right away
  • Rest well
  • Drink warm water

4. Bronchitis

Children or toddlers below the age of 2 years often fall prey to Bronchitis. Bronchitis is a respiratory infection caused by RSV or the respiratory syncytial virus. Typical symptoms include breathing difficulty due to the inflammation of airway passage in the lungs as they get clogged. Patients with bronchitis experience mild fever, congestion of the nasal passage, wheezing and coughing.

How To Prevent:

  • Get enough rest
  • Sleep more
  • Stay hydrated

5. Pneumonia

Pneumonia is another lung infection which common in the winter season. A disease caused by bacteria can be mild or severe in nature which ans if it is mild, it can be treated at home but if it gets severe, hospitalization is possible too.

People who have weaker immunity or health issues like asthma, heart issues or even cancer are prone to suffer from pneumonia. Unfortunately, this disease is difficult to detect in the initial stages. However, if the patient experiences a constant cold or high fever, it is best to seek a doctor.

How To Prevent:

Winter Skin Ailments

Along with respiratory issues, winter brings a host of skin troubles; itching, flaring of eczema, psoriasis etc. The most basic skincare requirement for this season is to keep the skin moisturized.

The most common skin ailments in winter are flaky, itchy skin, dehydrated skin and UV damage & chapped lips. Unbeknownst to many, you must continue to wear your sunscreen before you step out.

Respiratory infections are very common in winter months, if you experience any symptoms of flu accompanied by shortness of breath, increased mucus production and severe muscle pain, you should visit a physician to diagnose the underlying problem.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj, M.B.B.S., M.D

How To Prevent Winter Skin Problems

  • Stay hydrated inside out, i.e., eat well, drink ample fluids and moisturize yourself.
  • For flaky skin, use an exfoliator to get rid of the dry skin and avoid using soaps high in PH.
  • Also, don’t scrub yourself dry after a bath.
  • If you have chapped lips, use products with vitamin A & E. Also, moisten your lips with cool water before you apply your lip balm for the best results.
  • Avoid bathing in very hot water as it will lead to dry patches on your skin.
  • Use a natural cleanser and a heavy moisturizer.

But Ever Wonder Why We Fall Ill In The Winter Season?

The reasons are many and moreover, we tend to let go of ourselves as the cold weather takes over. Plus, the season is not conducive for hard work – people tend to oversleep and overeat. They have to be really motivated to even take a walk. The gym stops as does the swimming or jogging. Also, the winter season is a season of festivity and weddings. Therefore, following a healthy diet becomes difficult and with no chance of burning the calories, they just pile up.

Lack of exercise, sedentary lifestyle creates a lack of circulation and therefore, an increase in fat accumulation in the body. Fat cells can also cause inflammation and weaken the immune system.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

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