Winter is the most awaited time of the year for a majority of the UAE residents because we experience the summer heat for most of the year. The winter months generally see an increase in the risk of infections.
The cold weather brings a number of health risks in children and adults equally. Healthcare practitioners often see a rise in the number of common cold, rhinitis, influenza, and other respiratory infections cases during the winter months.
The most commonly asked questions about winter illness is that “why do people fall sick often during the winter?” The simple reason is that when there is a cool breeze blowing outdoors, people tend to create a warmer temperature or environment indoors. When they then step outside, the outside temperatures often contrast the body temperature and may be unable to adjust to the sudden change. Hence the body undergoes changes while adjusting to the temperature, hence causing an allergic response. Here are some ways that you may be vulnerable to winter:
Common Cold & Flu
Most people prefer staying indoors or in closed environments like the malls, shops, restaurants or even at the comfort of their homes. This causes an easy spread of germs and infections among people. School going children are also at risk of developing these conditions from their peers. The golden rule is to take preventive measures since your immunity is at risk. Get flu shot vaccinations, eat a healthy and balanced diet including a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eat your greens regularly.
It becomes extremely crucial to safeguard your skin from dryness and dehydration during the winter. Dry winter air pulls away all the moisture from the skin making it look extremely dry and dull. Winter calls for a switch in the type of skin products you use, make way for thick cream based moisturizers. Nourish your skin regularly by drinking lots of water. Keep moisturizing your skin with thick creams water-basedwater based light creams, also switch to a moisturizing sunscreen. Also ensure a visit to the dermatologist to avoid winter dry skin, the dermatologist may also recommended some deep moisturizing products or procedures depending on your skin type.
Allergies and infections of various kinds are common during the winter months. Allergies are the result of your immune systems response to a substance. This could lead to various health concerns. Ongoing allergies can weaken your immune system and make it fighting off germs. Immune responses can be mild from cough and running nose to a life threatening reaction called Amaphylaxis. Hygiene practices need to be leveled up during the winter months.
Winter is the time when people complaint of dry, itchy, irritation and watery eyes. To combat this, the first step is to take occasional blink breaks from the digital eyestrain, although this is a tip for all times and not only during the winters. Women must also try to avoid water proof make up because they are hard to remove, moreover using harsh make up removers can strip the skin off essential oils. Consult a dermatologist to decide on the best possible methods. Also go easy on eye drops, do not use any eye drop available and consult with a specialist before using one.
Change in appetite
People often tend to gain weight during the winter because we often crave for some warm comfort food during the cold nights. Moreover, working out during the winter months often doesn’t happen because people only want to cuddle in their blankets. However, one should take advantage of these months where the scorching heat doesn’t tire you and you get more time to work out. Regular workouts should be a part of your daily schedule irrespective of the season.
Improve personal hygiene by washing your hands regularly, cover your mouth and nose if you have sneezing, cough or cold. Avoid contact with others if you are sick and ensure to get your shots to fight the spread of infections. Also ensure to follow a healthy and balanced diet.
Internal Medicine Specialist
Aster Clinic, Karama (UMC)