Winter health woes and how to deal with them

The winter almost set in and with the various joys and good moments, it also brings with it certain health issues that we need to be vigilant about. Read on to know the health problems that are commonly seen in winter and what we can do about them.

Bone, Joint and Body pains – dropping temperatures are known to cause an increase in joint and bone pains. This season is especially very troublesome for people who suffer from arthritis.

Useful tips to prevent/deal with joint pains-

  • Keep your joints warm.
  • Make sure to do light warm up exercises.
  • Massaging the joints that hurt, with warm oil can help.
  • Adding supplements such as vitamin D, omega-3- fatty acids after consulting your doctor can help.
  • Keep your pain relievers handy.

Respiratory system challenges – Cold weather is known to cause increase in cases of respiratory system issues like Asthma, flu, common colds, sinusitis, bronchitis, sore throat and pneumonia.

Useful tips to prevent/ deal with them-

  • Keep safe from very cold air/wind when going out by covering your mouth and nose lightly.
  • If you are an asthmatic, meet with your doctor and update yourself on medication that you may be needing and stock them so that they are handy when you need them.
  • Influenza, flu, sore throat and pneumonia are contagious diseases and can be prevented by following simple measures like wash your hands regularly and covering your mouth when sneezing/coughing.
  • Taking enough rest, exercising on regular basis, eating healthy diet and keeping yourself hydrated can help.
  • For sore throat, gargling with warm water and salt can help.
  • If you regularly face problems with respiratory system, arranging for a steam machine or a nebulizer is to be considered.

Winter skin problems – dry itchy skin, chapped lips, flaky skin, cracked feet and pre-existing skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis can flare up in winters due to the dryness in air.

Useful tips to prevent/deal with winter skin problems-

  • Stays hydrated and moisturize your skin with natural moisturizers.
  • For flaky skin, exfoliate and then moisturize.
  • For chapped lips, lips balms or creams that contain vitamin A and Vitamin E can help and work best if applied on moist lips.
  • For itchy skin, it is best to avoid long times in warm showers
  • It is best if woollen clothes are not in direct touch with skin.
  • If you have a pre-existing skin condition, keep away from harsh soaps or chemicals and keep your medicated creams ready!

Heart problem in the elderly – if you have an elderly at home, now is the season to get them evaluated especially if they already have pre-existing issues of heart or blood vessels since due to drop in body temperature (hypothermia) in the colder months the heart is affected by increased heart rate and blood pressure, where the heart needs to function harder to keep the body warm.

Useful tips to prevent/deal with heart problems/ hypothermia in elderly-

  • Install thermostats in homes to keep the temperature at a constant, safe temperature.
  • Hot water bags or electric blankets can be used.
  • Encourage them to do some mild exercise.
  • Special steps must be taken in cold seasons for their health evaluation and they must be encouraged to take their medicine on time.


Dr.Afroze Fatima



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