From the common cold to the flu, illness is prevalent during winter. As a result, many believe that it’s due to the cold weather. But while the weather plays a role in the process, it isn’t directly responsible for sickness. Below are a few points about being under the weather, and how you can stay healthy to avoid needing urgent care.
What Is the Relationship Between Cold Weather & Spikes in Illness?
You can catch a cold, the flu, or another respiratory infection at any time of the year. However, it is more common in the winter due to changes in the air. At colder temperatures, the air becomes less humid. This lack of moisture allows bacteria and viruses to thrive—and spread around from person to person.
As germs become more common, you face a higher risk of catching an illness. However, being out in the cold isn’t going to make you sick.
Does Cold Weather Contribute to Other Health Problems?
While low temperatures won’t give you a cold, they can add to other problems. For example, if you’re outside without proper clothing, you may develop hypothermia or frostbite. In these conditions, your heart must work harder to keep you warm, increasing your risk of related problems—such as a heart attack.
The lack of moisture in the air also makes it more likely for people to suffer from dry skin or sinuses. Going from warm to cold temperatures narrows airways, intensifying asthma symptoms. Drops in pressure and temperature can also cause joints to swell and synovial fluid to thicken—two reactions that trigger arthritis flare-ups.
How Can You Stay Healthy in the Cold?
To avoid trips to the doctor or urgent care center this winter, prioritize keeping germs away. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, get an annual flu shot, and cough or sneeze into your sleeve.
Continue other activities that will keep you healthy—such as resting when you don’t feel well, exercising regularly, staying hydrated, following a balanced diet, and taking vitamins.
If you get sick this season, Coryell Health Quick Care Walk-In Clinic is here to help you recover. Serving the Gatesville, TX, community, our clinic provides urgent care services in a walk-in clinic setting.To learn more about our care options, kindly see our website. For primary or specialty care appointments, call (254) 865-2166.