Autumn is a season full of fun and festivities. Unfortunately, it is also a standard time to visit the doctor. You can avoid uncomfortable symptoms by understanding seasonal sicknesses and how to prevent them. The information below explains the most common ailments at this time of year, as well as the best protective strategies to use at home and in the physician’s office.
Typical Autumn Sicknesses
Pollen counts are high in the fall, which can contribute to seasonal allergy symptoms and even asthma attacks. Symptoms may include respiratory difficulty, sore throat, and runny nose.
There is also a spike in flu cases, usually beginning in September. The risk increases through October, November, and into winter. Telltale signs of the contagious and often dangerous sickness include fatigue, cough, and fever.
As the days get shorter, some people experience the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Damp, chilly climates may also increase pain in people with arthritis. Cases of the common cold also start to rise, reaching their height in the winter.
Preventative Care Strategies
See your doctor for a checkup as autumn begins. They will evaluate your current health and determine if your medical history makes you susceptible to common fall illnesses. They can also evaluate your children for the same risks.
Preventative care may include a flu immunization, a new inhaler prescription, or a care sheet for how to treat the common cold or SAD symptoms. Ask your provider about taking vitamin D, which helps to avoid respiratory infections.
Once you’re done with your exam, begin safeguarding your immune system. Eat a balanced diet of whole grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables. Reduce stress by taking breaks at work, engaging in deep breathing, and meditating. Exercise often. If the outdoor air is contributing to your symptoms, walk on the treadmill or join a yoga class. Make sure you sleep for at least 7-8 hours each night. Don’t forget to wash your hands regularly, especially after you come into contact with someone who is sneezing or coughing.
If your symptoms make it difficult to work or attend school, it's time to make another appointment with your doctor. They will navigate you through flu care, allergies, and mood challenges. They can also advise you on when to see a specialist for specific chronic illnesses.
Autumn should be a time of joy, not sickness and suffering. For over 25 years, Dumas Family Practice in Dumas, TX, has been helping patients of the Northern Panhandle of Texas prevent and treat the flu, common cold, and other typical illnesses. To make an appointment with doctor Chris Bunch, MD, and his staff, call the practice at (806) 935-9005. For information about their services, visit their website.