A cold is contracted by over two hundred different kinds of viruses. But whatever kind of virus it is, its entry point is the nose. A sneeze or a hand contact from an infected person is usually the culprit. The watery fluid of colds is the one that typically drives away the white blood cells that will fight the infection.
What are the Causes of Winter Ailment?
- Flu is caused by three different kinds of viruses and more different strains. The winter season, or even during late fall, causes a flu epidemic that dies down in about a month. Flu is just like colds. There are influenza viruses types A, B, and C. Flu experienced during the winter season are caused primarily by types A and B. When you sneeze or cough, you may also transmit the disease to others.
- Cold sores are caused by two types of the herpes simplex virus or HSV: types 1 and 2.
- Although doctors have no clear-cut causes of Raynaud’s disease, they have linked the cold temperature and stress as the primary causes of such phenomenon. When the body is exposed to cold temperatures the body loses heat, which slows down blood supply into the extremities. These are also the same thing that happens when someone is under a stressful condition.
Signs and Symptoms of Winter Disease
- Common cold symptoms usually appear from three to five days from first exposure to the cold virus. The signs and symptoms would include runny or stuffed nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, mild fatigue with body aches and headaches, a low-grade fever, and an itchy throat that may induce a cough.
- Influenza may have similar symptoms with that of the common colds although flu symptoms appear faster. Runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, congestion, and body malaise may be experienced. A high-grade fever accompanied with chills and sweating may also occur. There is also a loss of appetite, and on rare occasions vomiting and diarrhea.
- You know you have a cold sore when you have this painful and tingling sensation that normally precedes the blisters. After which they would appear as red fluid-filled blisters that are still painful when touched. They usually appear around the mouth for a period of seven to ten days.
- Raynaud’s disease is practically having cold feet and cold hands. As opposed to frostbite, Raynaud’s is more severe, having a sequence of color changes on the skin. It is a painful reaction to cold and stress and would usually occur on the fingers and toes and the ears and nose too. There is also a numb feeling when the body starts rewarming.
How to Prevent Winter Disease
They say prevention is better than cure. True, because if there are ways to prevent things from happening, we should take these steps, rather than having to deal with the pain of these winter ailments.
- Among the pains of having colds and flu is the headache caused by nasal congestion. A good rest and sleep can help because it gives something to your immune system. It boosts it that gives a hard time for the cold or the flu virus to sink into your system. Frequent hand washing will also help prevent the spread of the disease.
- Cold sores can be prevented if one takes steps in avoiding contact with others who have a cold sore. When you see the blisters, avoid skin contact. The virus spreads easily especially for those who have a depressed immune system.
- The use of sunblock is typically used to avoid risks on sun exposure. However, it can also be helpful during the winter season as it helps avoid cold sores. A good moisturizer like a lip balm or any facial moisturizer will help avoid the cracking of the skin.
- Raynaud’s disease is difficult when the rewarming of the skin does not initially happen because it would cause the blood to leak into the tissues. Taking the necessary precautions will help avoid triggering such ailment. Dressing appropriately, warm outdoor clothing complete with scarf, gloves, or mittens, socks, and boots will help the body lose a great deal of body heat.
Treating Winter Ailments
- A daily dose of vitamin C can actually shorten the duration of the cold virus in the body. The same holds true with zinc lozenges as well. Some vitamin C for kids that contain Echinacea is better, because Echinacea is known to stimulate the activity of the white blood cells, the cells that fight infection. For nasal congestions, inhaling tea tree oil or eucalyptus oil will help.
- In the same manner with colds, eating food rich in vitamin C, fruits and vegetables will help relieve the body of the influenza. Homeopathic remedies like eupatorium perfoliatum or gelsemium are recommended for the flu virus.
- Even if cold sores would clear up without treatment, the pain it causes will prod one to find for relief. Over-the-counter topical anti-pain ointments such as Zilactin will help ease the discomfort of the pain. The application of cold or warm compress on the blisters is also helpful. For really painful blisters, oral pain relievers are needed. Leaving it and just letting it heal would also do you good.
- Raynaud’s phenomenon, which is caused by the exposure of the blood vessels in a cooler temperature, could be eased with the application of warm compress.
Winter Disease Diet
Winter is the time of the year that is full of excitement, fun, and joy as it nears the holidays. For many people, the winter season brings with it lots of good things: the holiday tree, the joyous season, and the gifts. On the contrary, it also brings with it serious health conditions. Precisely why a good diet should be watched to avoid the risk of what the onset of extremely low temperatures poses and the related health complications it presents.
- Drinking lots of fluids to replace whatever has been lost is good. Water, juice, and tea are good choices.
- Chicken soup has been used for generations to relieve cold and flu symptoms. It is also great in relieving nasal congestion as well as in eliminating the virus in the nasal lining.
- Diet for those having these winter ailments should exclude coffee or any kind of carbonated drinks. Caffeine causes stress and anxiety and will also contribute in compromising your immune system. It is also a contributory factor in the narrowing of the blood vessels thus increasing the risk of activating Raynaud’s disease.
- People with winter ailments should also work on adjusting the room temperature and humidity in the house. To compensate the cold weather, a cool mist humidifier or an ordinary vaporizer will also help.