Winter — crisp, clear days, snuggling by the fire with a good book, wrapping up in the bleachers on game day, and of course all those great holiday parties. It’s a happy time… but it’s also the busiest season for walk-in clinics.
How can you keep your family healthy this winter?
Cold and flu season
While you can catch a cold or get infected with the flu virus at any point in the year, people tend to get sick more often in the winter. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, wash your hands, and get your flu shot.
More time spent indoors
It’s cold outside which means people spend more of their time inside. Being in close contact with lots of people means that germs spread quickly and easily. Wash your hands regularly, and visit a doctor when you notice the signs of illness.
More time indoors may also mean more time breathing indoor allergens. Change your air filters regularly, vacuum, dust, and wash bed sheets often. If you notice frequent respiratory problems within your family, consider testing for mold.
Injuries from falls
Falling accidents are common during the winter season. Maybe you’re cleaning out your gutters, hanging Christmas lights, or you don’t spot a patch of ice until it’s too late. Consider a walk-in clinic before the emergency room for non-life threatening medical care.
Back injuries are also common in cold weather months. Raking leaves, cutting or hauling firewood, or shoveling snow can all lead to unusual movements or unusual levels of activity. Avoid sudden, jerking movements, and warm up before doing physical activity.
Cold, dry winter air is a common trigger for people with asthma. If you have an inhaler, be sure to carry it with you during the winter, especially when doing physical activity. If you notice breathing problems but you don’t have asthma, talk to your doctor. While asthma is often diagnosed in children, it’s possible to develop asthma as an adult.
More commonly known as the stomach bug, noroviurs is a very contagious. The virus inflames the stomach, intestines, or both, and causes stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Most people with norovirus recover in 1 to 3 days. Drink liquids and replenish electrolytes to prevent dehydration.
The virus spreads through contaminated foods, contaminated surfaces, or contact with someone infected with norovirus. Wash your hands often, especially before handling food or after using the bathroom. Disinfect surfaces, clothes, and linens after someone in your house is infected with norovirus.
Cold weather can affect your heart
Cold weather may increase your heart rate or blood pressure, and heart attacks are more common in cold weather. Be especially mindful of this if you currently have cardiovascular disease.
That same cold, dry winter air that can trigger asthma symptoms may also cause skin problems. Dry skin, chilblains, xerotic eczema, can all occur during the winter and may be very uncomfortable. Make sure that your skin is properly covered when going outdoors, and talk to your doctor about any winter skin problems you experience.
Many people find it difficult to stay active and healthy during the winter. It’s important that you meet the daily recommendation for physical activity regardless of the season.
No garden veggies
Do you eat your fruits and vegetables during the winter? You can’t grow tomatoes or spiniach in your garden during the winter, but you can get fresh produce at the grocery store. Canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are nutritious, too.
If you feel like salads are for the summer, try hearty vegetable soups or stews instead.
If you feel sad or depressed with the change of seasons, you may be experiencing seasonal affective disorder. There are things you can do to help improve your mood throughout the winter. Get outside more often, exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet, engage in social activities, and manage your stress.
Don’t ignore depression. If you feel depressed for extended periods of time, talk to your doctor.
Visit MANA Urgent Care
Walk-in clinics are fast and convenient, and MANA Urgent Care has the advantage of being within the MANA network. Whether you need your flu shot, you’re feeling under the weather, or you had an accidental fall, the physicians at MANA Urgent Care walk-in clinic can help.
- Call 479-442-0006 for MANA Urgent Care Wedington at 1188 North Salem Fayetteville, AR.
- Call 479-521-0200 for MANA Urgent Care College at 117 Sycamore Fayetteville, AR.