Here at Family Practice Center, we are definitely excited for the upcoming holiday season. Who doesn’t love all the time spent with loved ones, great meals, presents, and all the other festive delights that the holidays bring? However, the cold winter months and additional holiday-related stress can definitely take their toll on our health. Certain illnesses are especially common this time of year. To help our patients keep themselves healthy throughout the holiday season, we recommend being on the lookout for the following common winter illnesses and health conditions:
The Common Cold
While not a serious health concern, coming down with a cold can put a real damper on your holiday spirit. You can catch a cold without even knowing it from touching an infected surface or coming into contact with someone who is already sick. We recommend washing your hands even more than normal during the winter months to destroy potential germs that can cause a cold.
The winter holidays also coincide with flu season. While the flu may affect every person differently, it can be very serious or even deadly if not treated properly (this is especially true for children and the elderly). The best deterrent against the flu is to see your healthcare provider for an annual flu shot. If you do catch the flu, taking Tamiflu and getting plenty of rest can help manage your symptoms.
It may not be as common as a cold or the flu, but pneumonia is something that should be taken seriously. In some cases, pneumonia can start as a cold and then worsen if the lungs become infected. Symptoms can range from mild to life-threatening and may include confusion, fever, chronic coughing, heavy sweating, chills, loss of appetite, and difficulty breathing. If you experience these symptoms, we recommend visiting your doctor ASAP to make sure your condition doesn’t worsen.
Even for people who don’t have year-round skin problems, it’s very common to experience dry skin during the winter. This is due to the cold and dry climate. If you’re concerned about dry skin, try moisturizing regularly, especially right after a bath or shower when your skin has not completely dried yet and again before bed. Investing in a humidifier may also be able to help.
No one wants to feel less than their best during the holidays. The more you know about potential health conditions and how to properly prevent and/or treat them, the more likely you will be to stay healthy this winter and beyond. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers today, please contact Family Practice Center. Follow along with us on Facebook and Twitter for health tips, news, photos, and more.