Tips to prevent 3 common respiratory infections in winter

Winter is the time of the season that leads to flaring up of various symptoms. Be it psoriasis that causes excessive itching due to dry skin and lack of humidity in the atmosphere or the increased risk of joint pain in the cold climate, winter does put you at risk of falling sick. But the common health problems that flare up in winters are respiratory tract infections. Dr Narendra Prasad, Consultant Physician, Columbia Asia hospital, Hebbal sheds light on the common respiratory tract infections you are at risk of during winters.

Asthma: It is a lung disease, in which there is a narrowing and inflammation of the airways. Sneezing, coughing, chest tightening are some of its common symptoms. There are two types of asthma: Allergic asthma that is caused due to exposure to an allergen, such as dust, pollen, paint dust, smoke. The other one is non- allergic asthma that is caused by cold, flu, stress or extreme weather. So be careful of the triggers of asthma this winter.

Sore throat: Painful, scratchy or dryness in the throat which later leads to pain is some of the most common symptoms of a sore throat. It is mostly caused due to infections and cold weather circumstances during winter.

Flu: Flu is also called influenza and is caused by contagious respiratory viruses. The virus affects the lungs leading to symptoms vary from mild to severe which at times can result in hospitalisation and rarely death. Usually, young kids or older people whose immune systems are weak are often targeted to flu. Also find out the difference between swine flu and seasonal flu

Here are few tips to prevent respiratory infections in winter.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Cover your mouth and nose to avoid dust.
  • Drink plenty of fluids. The best way to deal with it is to drink warm or hot water.
  • Eat a healthy diet with fresh fruits and vegetables to keep the immune system strong.
  • Regular exercise especially such as yoga and swimming is beneficial for the long run.
  • Avoid use of antibiotics and self-medication.
  • Vaccination recommended for elderly, children and people with chronic diseases such as asthma and diabetes.
  • If the symptoms fail to subside in three days, do consult your doctor immediately.

Image Source: Shutterstock

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