Chills Aren’t Cool: 5 Common Diseases During Cold Weather
Posted on December 4, 2014 | Author and Reviewed by: Mark Anthony M. Casilla RPH, MS pharm (cand)
When the weather is cold, it’s nice to just relax, sip on a hot drink and cover yourself with a warm, fuzzy blanket. Other than that, it’d also be great to take your vitamins and make sure that you have stocked medicine for fever. Yes, the weather may be calming and pleasant, but it’s also during such a condition when certain types of diseases are common, so it’s better to have some medicine for cough & colds and fever stocked.
Here are a few illnesses to watch out for when the winds are making you shiver.
It’s a no-brainer that this all-too-common all-year-round viral infection will be… well, even more common when the temperature gets low. However, despite having the same name as the word describing the weather when it’s common, the cold is not what causes this disease. In actuality, it is caused by more than 200 types of viruses, with coronavirus, adenovirus, and rhinovirus as the most well-known. The reason why colds are more common during cold days is because people tend to stay inside when it gets chilly out. Indoor air is trapped, so when people sneeze, others catch the viruses that come along with it.
This infection shares a lot of similarities with the common cold: they’re both upper respiratory tract infections, perennially present, and caused by a wide plethora of viruses. They also share a handful of symptoms: headaches, a clogged nose, and cough. Because of these likenesses, it’s easy to mistake one for the other. In order to know which is which, take note that influenza causes joint pains, body weakness, and fever that can reach up to 41°C.
The triggers for this congenital respiratory disease varies from one patient to another. To some who have it, cold weather is one of those – and a powerful one at that. Once triggered, asthma constricts the airways, causing difficult, short, and painful breathing. To prevent this, it’s advisable for asthmatic people to stay indoors and wear appropriate clothing during cold weather. Also, it’s best to carry doctor-prescribed inhalers in case, as an attack can happen anytime, anywhere.
Another year-round disease that becomes more widespread when it gets cold. It’s either caused by bacterial/viral infection, or throat irritation from low humidity. While not exactly a serious illness, it is nevertheless painful and annoying. If it becomes too unbearable to wait for the condition to self-terminate, one can take warm, clear, and neutral beverages as an alleviatory means or consult a physician.
Because of the low humidity during cold weather, the skin easily dries up, causing it to itch and crack. As a remedy, one can apply moisturizer to stop the skin’s moisture from evaporating. Also, taking warm showers can help. Hot showers will not only worsen the condition, but also make your hair look dry and dull.
Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you can just chill. Remember, diseases don’t take a break, not even during the holidays, so you better be ready.