If you seem to get a cold every fall or the flu during winter, you may think that the change in seasons is the reason. But that's not the whole issue. After all, people who live in areas with warmer winters still have to deal with cold and flu season just like everyone else.
Feeling Sick As Seasons Change
Here are some reasons you may get seasonal illnesses.
If you’re sniffling and sneezing, you may have allergies. They happen when your body decides something harmless (like ragweed pollen) is a danger to your health. Sneezing, runny nose, and watery eyes are how your body reacts.
Allergies tend to get worse in the fall or spring. There are more pollen and mold spores in the air.
When you’re outside on a chilly day, you may have noticed that your nose feels cold. Your nose gets colder inside, too. This makes it harder for your body to fight viruses and easier for the viruses to grow in number, according to a Yale University study.
Windy weather can dry out your nose, which makes it easier for viruses to get into your body. Some viruses also live longer in cold weather, such as the flu virus.
Spending Time Indoors
People tend to spend more time indoors during the fall and winter. This makes it easier for germs to spread. You’re breathing in germs from others or touching surfaces that have germs on them. These can then enter your body if you touch your face.
Even if you don’t live in a colder climate, you still may be spending more time indoors as summer fun turns into school, work, and other routine activities.
Less Vitamin D
Spending time in the sun helps your body make vitamin D. This vitamin helps your immune system work better. If you don’t spend as much time outdoors during fall and winter, your skin isn’t as exposed to the sun. And this may cause your vitamin D level to drop.
Unsure About the COVID Vaccine?
Worried about side effects? Or how the vaccine will impact your pregnancy or breastfeeding child?
Prior to 2020, most people only had to protect themselves from colds and flu. Now you also have to take precautions to avoid COVID-19. Here's how you can lower your risk of COVID and seasonal illnesses:
- Get the flu and COVID vaccines
- Wear a mask, especially when you’re indoors
- Wash your hands often
- Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, or nose
- Stay away from people who are coughing and sneezing
- Take vitamin D supplements if your levels are low
- Keep your body healthier by following healthy habits, such as avoiding excessive alcohol and junk food, not smoking, lowering stress, and getting enough sleep
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