Fall has finally started cooling down our hot Louisiana weather, but even southern residents must be wary of wintertime cold weather illnesses. Winter is the most frequent time of year people get a cold, the flu, strep throat, pneumonia, or other conditions, and unfortunately, this peak time for cold and flu season extends well past the holidays. While many people can confuse a cold for a more serious illness or allergies for sinus problems, these both can develop into more complicated problems, so it’s important to contact Alexandria Otolaryngology Associates if you are having any issues.
As frequent as cold weather illnesses can be, there are several steps you can take to prevent your likelihood of becoming ill. Here are some tips to keep illness away as fall and winter approach:
- Wash your hands.
This is the single most effective way to prevent the spreading of germs! Washing your hands frequently with soap and water (not just hand sanitizer) can drastically limit your likelihood of catching something unpleasant this winter.
- Get enough sleep.
Sleep deprivation leads to a weakened immune system, which can make your body far more susceptible to germs, viruses and bacteria.
- Take your vitamins.
Vitamin C, Vitamin D and Zinc have all been shown to help people stay healthy during cold and flu season. Getting in the habit of taking a daily multivitamin can have a great impact on your overall health.
- Get a flu shot.
There are multiple places in every city to get a flu shot, such as your doctors’ office, a local health clinic or pharmacy, and even grocery stores.
Cold weather makes it tempting to curl up with a blanket instead of staying active, but incorporating just 30 minutes of activity per day has been proven to boost your immune system’s defenses.
- Eat healthfully.
Making the choice to incorporate something nutrient-rich and green during at least one meal per day can keep your body healthy and strong enough to battle incoming viruses and bacteria.
- Nullify nosebleeds.
Nosebleeds are more likely during the winter months, due to the dryness of the weather, sinus infections and accompanied irritation. Using a saline rinse can keep your nose hydrated, and you’ll help your sinuses self-cleanse and clear out allergens and viruses.
All of these tips are a great starting point to ensure you can enjoy our rare crisp fall weather, instead of being sick in bed. Even the best of habits can’t eliminate all illness, however. If you have any symptoms this cold and flu season, be sure to book an appointment with the doctors at Alexandria Otolaryngology Associates to get back on your feet to enjoy the upcoming holidays.