Winter Problems – limp hair, asthma and eye ailments

December 24, 2017 Heart Diseases 10496 Views


Winter Health Problems

Shruti loved the way her hair would swish and cascade around her shoulders. She loved the way it billowed around with the various dance moves that she would make. It added to her persona. It heightened her glamour quotient. These things were crucial given the cut-throat competition she constantly faced as a professional show dancer.

Naturally, it shocked her when she saw her hair fall in a dull fashion.

With almost every other day. She could not afford to take time off to visit a trichologist or pop-in at the salon.  Nor could she make some time to get some tips from the beauty consultant. The people who always peddled some exorbitantly priced cosmetic aid or the other.

What easy-to-incorporate-in-routine steps should Shruti follow so that she can have her “wow” mane back in action, elevating her in the popularity charts?

For Amla Mirchandani, coughing in the night would get worse during November to February. Pulmologists say those winter months when dust and pollutants settle below, in the atmosphere making life difficult for asthmatics and those with respiratory problems. Amla would stock up on the traditional amla and dunking it in melted jaggery. She would laboriously prepare a murabba in the hope that it will clear her chest of the cold and cough. She had even begun to add ginger to it trying in vain to brave the harsh winter of her congested city but to no avail.

“No, it’s not pneumonia,” said Dr. Bajaj to 5 year old Rahim’s parents. “But,” he counseled “as Community – Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) is common, it’s necessary to take precautions.” Looking at their blank faces, he added, “It’s the weather you know. Winter brings with it viruses, causing various infections influenza or Community Acquired Pneumonia which quickly affect people with low or less immunity.”

So if the parents could blame the town fog and smog then what could they do for 5-year-old Rahim who has been through a lot of winter health problems and extreme discomfort for the last 2 nights?

The link between winter and pneumonia

Cardiologists say that wheezing, heart ailments and other winter health problems are on the rise as sunlight isn’t able to kill germs and bacteria like in summer.  Also, since people prefer staying indoors, instead of venturing out in the cold, they can easily contact bacteria, fungi or viruses from someone who is already infected. To add to this, lowered immunity and resistance help infections spread faster and stronger especially among children and senior citizens.

Co-relation found between cardiac ailments and cold season

Not just less sunshine but the change in the ratio of sunlight and dark hours triggers a near-fatal change in the hormone levels of some individuals, resulting in a severe cardiovascular problem. Silent killers such as heart attacks are more prevalent towards Christmas and New Year. This is because the symptoms are usually mistaken for a muscle pull. And sleeping it off is what people wrongly think would be the solution.  The cold can also make arteries constrict, denying the heart of vital oxygen or blocking its smooth flow. The result? A heart attack.

Winter warmth

Pre-empting a cardiac arrest and general precautions can greatly help people enjoy a disease-free winter whether it is scaly skin that tears like paper, flu which increases inflammation leading to a heart attack or just the common cold and cough.

  • To prevent heart attacks: The heart has to work harder to keep the body warm and create heat. So, it is necessary not to introduce sudden changes such as a shift from routine or exercise. When you move strenuous activities from the latter part of the day to early mornings, it places added pressure on the overworked heart, (which has to deal with an increase in the demand for oxygen) such as a spiked up heart rate and blood pressure. Even shifting an early morning walk to a warmer, sunnier time of the day will significantly decrease the risk of a heart attack.  You should avoid overheating food and should try to eat in small quantities.
  • Keeping winter itch at bay: Lavishly apply olive, coconut or almond oil to soothe scaly itchy skin. Wrap in a towel soaked with warm water to seal in the moisture. Keep skin hydrated with plenty of fluids, especially coconut water and tea made with jaggery. Fried food is a strict no-no!
  • Away with asthma: Keeping things dust-free is impossible but it helps to wash bed linen every 3 days. Keep the house free of smoke, pollen and exercise in moderation.
  • Jazzin’ up hair: Less moisture in the hair means dandruff build-up which in turn causes hair fall. Guard against this by mixing a few drops of lime with heated hair oil. Massage it into the scalp when it is bearably hot. Leave for 2-3 hours before washing it off with a gentle shampoo. Also, keep in mind that hot water will further strip off hair from its protective coating. So use like warm water.

Cold nights and days bring different types of winter health problems, but pneumonia and asthma are the ones you want to be on a look out for. If you witness any of the above symptoms, reach out to your nearest pulmonologist today.

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