How Temperature Variations Can Make You Ill

This week, a lot of the country is seeing significant weather swings, with unseasonably high highs followed by reductions of up to 40 degrees in a single day. According to experts, these variations may increase your susceptibility to illness. Being “under the weather,” as it is commonly said, is more than just a catchy expression. Seasonal changes, as well as large variations in temperature and barometric pressure, can cause a number of illnesses.

Dr. Michael Kaplan of Kaplan Sinus Relief states that your body responds to changing weather in a few different ways, including:

• Pressure on joints and sinuses.

• Inflamed tissues.

• Blood vessel narrows.

• Headaches or migraines.

• Cracked and dried mucous membranes.

• A weakened defense against infection.

According to Cleveland Clinic family medicine specialist Dr. Neha Vyas, “changes in weather conditions can predispose you to getting sick, but temperature changes don’t make you sick.” During these weather shifts, the rates of disease are accelerated by three key factors:

• Arid atmosphere. According to Vyas, winter brings colder, drier air that dries out mucous membranes and makes it easier for viruses to enter your body. Mucous membrane breaks may provide those viruses a place to nestle and enter your body.

• The chill. The expert claims that colder air weakens our immune systems and increases our susceptibility to diseases.

• Being in the open. We spend more time indoors during the winter, which exposes us to close quarters with other people. Certain viruses, including influenza, which usually do not survive as well in summer, also reach their peak during the winter.

According to specialists at Piedmont healthcare systems, abrupt changes in the nation’s weather patterns also lead to disease.

Family medicine specialist Dr. Vikash Modi says, “Changes in weather are basically challenges to our immune system and to our musculoskeletal system.” Our bodies have to make an effort to adjust when abrupt changes occur to the climate to which they are accustomed. Regretfully, there are instances when our bodies struggle to adjust, which might lead to an illness.

The following six medical problems can be brought on by an abrupt shift in the weather:

1. Upper respiratory tract infections and diseases. Modi thinks inappropriate clothes is to blame for this. We frequently dress in too many or too few layers when the temperature changes abruptly, which causes the body to become too hot or too cold. Upper respiratory infections and immune system responses may be impacted by this.

2. Prolonged throat and sinus problems. Alternating heating and cooling systems result in drier air because they are unable to keep up with temperature fluctuations. The ideal environment for severe and persistent sinus and throat problems is dehumidified air. According to Modi, replace air filters every six months.

3. Cold air is frequently the cause of seasonal asthma and bronchitis. Individuals suffering from these ailments have to utilize an inhaler sometimes to prevent severe and persistent episodes of coughing.

4. Pollen-related seasonal allergies. Modi claims that shifting weather patterns might also be confusing to plants. “This implies that early flowering and pollen release from flowers may aggravate seasonal allergy sufferers.”

5. Flu and cold epidemics. People congregate for social activities when the weather momentarily improves, which raises the risk of sickness. “We all need to be more careful about hand hygiene and covering our mouths and noses when coughing and sneezing when large groups gather,” says Modi.

6. Damage to the muscles and joints. People are more likely to engage in outdoor activities when the weather unexpectedly gets warmer. However, injuries can result from placing undue strain on joints and muscles that have been dormant throughout colder months.

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