7 SPRING SEASON ILLNESSES
We have all been waiting for spring to rescue us from the cold, dreary winter. But the warmer season is far from perfect. Ill health most often plagues us during spring. Changes in the temperature and wind common during seasonal changes throw our immune system out of whack. Besides, a lot of people are vulnerable to infection because they spend more time outdoors during spring. Spring is also the beginning of the travel season, which exposes us to more viruses and bacteria.
All in all, you will want to keep a lookout for these seven spring season illnesses!
Spring ushers in the pollen season. Trees, weeds and grass release these tiny grains into the air to fertilize other plants. Sadly, the pollen that makes all the lovely trees, bushes and flowers blossom is the biggest spring allergy trigger. When a person inhales pollen, his immune system sees it as a danger and releases antibodies to fight the allergens. This process releases chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger symptoms like a runny or itchy nose, sneezing, coughing, itchy or watery eyes and nasal congestion when a person has an allergy. Showers during the season also breed mould, another cause of allergies.
How To Deal With Allergies
It's always best to prevent allergies than to cure them since most medications have side effects. Here are seven ways to deal with allergies:
- Watch the weather news to help you monitor pollen and mould count.
- Stay indoors when the pollen count is very high. The count usually peaks in the mornings.
- Keep windows and doors closed during the spring months and use an air purifier.
- Clean air filters regularly. And clean out bookshelves, vents and other places where pollen collects.
- Take a shower, wash your hair (pollen can collect in it) and change your clothes after going out.
- Vacuum two times a week and wear a mask while you are at it.
- Seek the help of an allergist to help you manage your symptoms with medications or allergy shots.
The norovirus, a contagious virus, is the cause of gastroenteritis. Symptoms which include stomach pain, cramping, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, low-grade fever, chills, headaches, muscle aches and fatigue, usually last for two (2) days. However, a person can remain infected for up to three (3) days after symptoms subside.
How To Deal With Gastroenteritis
Treatment is symptomatic; to ease the symptoms and not to eliminate the illness:
- Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds to prevent an infection.
- Stay home if you are infected.
- Disinfect bedding and other household items an infected person comes into contact with.
The pink eye as conjunctivitis is also called, can be caused by bacteria, viruses or allergies. It is a highly contagious infection that is very common among children. Symptoms include a pink or red colour in the white of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids, teary eyes, itchy eyes and an urge to rub the eyes.
How To Deal With Conjunctivitis
- Step up your personal hygiene. Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your eyes.
- Stay indoors if you have an infection to prevent a spread.
- Treat bacterial and viral conjunctivitis with antibiotics. Allergic conjunctivitis should be treated with antihistamines.
Asthma triggers are mostly found outdoors. These can be air temperature changes, insect repellants, fertilizers and pollen. Triggers can be found indoors as well, and these usually are dust, mould, paint, industrial glue and cleaning chemicals. The most common symptoms are wheezing, difficulty in breathing, chest pain and a cough. Others are a faster heartbeat, drowsiness or dizziness, fainting and blue lips or fingers.
How To Deal With Asthma
Of all the spring season illnesses, Asthma is the one to be extra cautious of. An asthma attack can strike suddenly and be fatal! If you are asthmatic, you must be ready at all times. Have a peak flow meter and rescue inhaler handy.
Warning: See your doctor immediately if you can't keep symptoms under control.
Influenza is one of the spring season illnesses which thrives not only in winter but also in warm and humid seasons. Indeed, spring is the second peak season for flu. The symptoms of flu are similar to the common cold but are more severe. Fever or chills, coughing, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, body ache and headache are common symptoms.
How To Deal With Flu
Preventive measures can keep an infection at bay:
- Our hands are the culprits that spread infection. Washing your hands often and for at least 20 seconds is a preventive measure.
- Stay home if you are infected to prevent a spread.
- Avoid close contact with infected persons.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you step out.
Warning: Flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, so check in to a hospital if you experience even the mildest of symptoms. Do also note that, you need to get a new flu vaccine every year to stay safe. The reason is that the vaccine is changed every year to keep up with the strains of the virus.
Like flu, spring is the second peak season for the common cold. Rhinoviruses cause the most cases of common cold infections. Common cold symptoms like a runny nose, sore throat, headache or body ache are mild. A high fever, though, especially in children, may be a reason to see your doctor.
How To Deal With The Common Cold
To prevent it:
- Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Use disposable items like cups, plates, paper tissue if a family member is infected and dispose of them after use.
- Reduce your stress levels. Stress weakens your immune system making you more prone to infections.
- Boost your immune function with regular exercising, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet.
- Clean household surfaces
- Don't smoke
Treat it with:
- pain relievers
Deer ticks that transmit Lyme disease thrive in warm, rainy weather. They are usually active when temperatures rise to above 35°F. The bacteria which cause Lyme disease are found in animals like mice or deer. If a tick bites an infected animal, it also becomes infected and spreads the infection when it bites a human. A bull's-eye rash which occurs 3 to 30 days after a bite, is the most obvious symptom. Other symptoms include a fever, fatigue and joint pains.
How To Deal With Lyme Disease
To prevent it:
- Steer clear of tick-infested areas.
- Wear protective clothing if you live in an infested area.
- Use insect repellants amply. Apply to legs, ankles and other areas likely to be bitten.
- Reduce your stress levels since stress weakens your immune system.
Lyme Disease is treated with antibiotics.
Disclaimer: The information shared by this post is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to be professional medical advice nor a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Consult your physician concerning anything you have read here.
By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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