Winter weather can bring on a number of threats to your health.
Cold temperatures can negatively affect your heart, especially if you have heart disease, or are a young child or older adult. Cold temperatures can decrease the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. Your heart also needs to work harder to maintain a healthy body temperature.
If you have risk factors for heart disease, like diabetes or a family history of the disease, or if you are a young child or older adult, consider avoiding strenuous outdoors activities in cold temperatures.
Last flu season (2017 to 2018), nearly 1 million people were hospitalized, and nearly 80,000 people died in the United States. On October 25, 2018 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that a decline in adult vaccinations is likely a factor in last year being the deadliest flu season in decades. The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year.
Recognizing flu symptoms:
* Flu usually comes on suddenly
* Symptoms may include chills, cough, fatigue, fever, headache, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people, except to get medical care if necessary. If you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider.
Winter weather can bring a greater risk for falls. One out of five falls causes a serious injury such as broken bones or a head injury. Primary care providers can evaluate someone’s risk for falling and develop a plan to reduce the risk. For instance, talk to your primary care provider about adjusting medications that cause side effects such as dizziness, and about exercise routines to maintain your strength and flexibility.