Preparing for Cold Weather

Cold weather illnesses and how to avoid them. We often think of fall and winter as cold and flu season, and those illnesses certainly spike during the colder months. But those aren’t the only illnesses that increase when the temperatures decrease. Following are a few typical cold-weather illnesses, and some things you can do to prevent them or, at least, lessen their impact.

Cold, flu, sore throat and strep throat. These standard cold-weather illnesses seem to be lurking everywhere after the first of October, but that doesn’t mean illness is inevitable. Following the protocols we’ve all learned for avoiding COVID-19 (washing hands, covering coughs and sneezes, wearing masks, etc.) will help to protect against these more common illnesses. Also, getting a flu vaccine seems to be especially important this year.

Arthritis. Certainly, arthritis isn’t a seasonal illness, but its symptoms can be exacerbated by cold weather and a drop in barometric pressure. Fend off increased aches by keeping your body as warm as possible, wearing scarves, gloves and thicker clothing.

Asthma. Cold, dry air puts extra pressure on people with asthma, as do allergens that might be lurking in furnaces until they kick on for the first time. If you have to be outside, cover your mouth and neck with warm clothing; indoors, try opening windows for a while when first turning on the furnace.

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