Come winters and most people start worrying about falling victims to a wide range of respiratory health issues. While cold and flu undoubtedly take the lead in terms of most common winter ailments, a number of people also find themselves struggling with more serious problems like influenza and pneumonia. In addition to being an extremely unpleasant illness for most people, these diseases can prove actually fatal for elderly people, pregnant women and even children with underlying health conditions. While timely diagnosis and treatment is the best way to tackle the problem, taking precautionary steps to prevent its onset in the first place is equally important.
Discussed below are some important guidelines that can help people keep the dreadful disease at bay especially during the winter season.
Avoid Getting Too Close To People With Symptoms Of Cold & Flu
The best way for individuals to avoid contacting pneumonia is by keeping away from people having the symptoms of cold and flu. Being a communicable disease that is caused by viruses and bacteria transmitted through air, it is easy for an individual prone to catching cold and flu quite easily, to develop pneumonia. This is because the cold and flu tend to weaken the lungs making it hard for them to fight the infection of pneumonia, enhancing the progress of the disease further.
Keep The Body Sufficiently Warm
One of the major reasons that lead people to develop cold and flu during winters is their oversight of the need to stay warm. It is essential for people to ensure that they only keep the insides of their home sufficiently warm to especially during the night, when the temperatures dip further. In addition, they should wear proper warm clothes, preferably in layers, when they are venturing out into the cold. Using gloves, socks, scarves, ear muffs and caps in addition to warm clothing, is the best way to avoid catching a cold while being outdoors.
Avoid Cold And Frozen Foods
Eating cold and frozen foods brings down the body temperature making it an easy target for cold and flu virus and bacteria. So it is advisable to stick to eating and drinking hot food which not only makes an individual feel good but also minimizes the risk of exposure to these ailments. Eating warm foods also enhances the natural energy levels within the body making it easier to remain active and fit. Drinking slightly warm water several times a day is highly advisable to prevent cold.
Take Good Care Of The Respiratory System
Activities such as smoking, which are likely to weaken the respiratory system and even cause blockage of the airways should be avoided, especially during the winter season. Smoking increases the risk of complications, such as chest infections, leading to pneumonia. It reduces the immunity of the lungs and makes them prone to easy attacks by most bacteria and virus. Individuals who find it difficult to quit smoking on their own can seek the help of a support groups for the same. It is also a good idea to take precautionary medication in case any symptoms of cold, flu and other such issues that might cause respiratory distress, seem to become increasingly apparent.
Seek Information About Pneumonia Vaccination
For individuals suffering from long term respiratory issues such as COPD, bronchiectasis or pulmonary fibrosis etc., opting for a pneumonia vaccination might be the best alternative. These vaccines are designed to prevent the onset of this disease amongst patients with a history of enhanced respiratory issues during the winter season. However, it is not a good idea to take the vaccine without proper medical consultation. Rather the patients should seek the advice of a qualified chest and lungs specialists about using this vaccine as a means to keep the disease at bay.