The South African Weather Service warns us that we’re going to freeze our socks off this weekend. And if you have one of the five conditions listed below, we recommend that you stay indoors and keep as warm as you can.
As if the cold winter weather isn’t bad enough on its own, it also aggravates the following conditions:
Seasonal affective disorder
Seasonal affective disorder, ironically and commonly known as SAD, is a type of depression that affects people during the winter months.
All of us tend to have more energy and are generally a lot more cheerful in summer. We’re almost the complete opposite in winter, but SAD is even worse than the general “down” feeling most people experience.
SAD can be so extreme that people aren’t able to hold down a job, concentrate properly, experience extreme lethargy and even end relationships if they’re not properly treated.
Fortunately there are effective treatment methods. If left untreated, though, it carries the hazards of any depression, including chronic misery and suicide risk.
Psoriasis is a common, chronic inflammatory condition that primarily affects the skin, but which may also affect the fingernails, toenails and joints.
Worldwide, more than 125 million people live with psoriasis. All ages may be affected and Prof Bruce Strober, chair of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Connecticut Health Centre says, “The lack of humidity in the air allows the skin to retain moisture less well, and when that occurs, tiny cracks or fissures can develop on the surface of the skin.”
Strober continues by saying that “anything that causes that to happen – like cool, dry air – can also exacerbate the disease.”
The discomfort of pain and itchiness should be avoided, and staying indoors as much as possible during winter may be a good idea.
Most of us are very familiar with this troublesome condition. Influenza occurs predominantly in the winter months in South Africa.
Flu is usually caused by one of three strains, and the first, type A, was identified in the 1930s. This is the most common and most serious one. Type B is the milder version and type C rarely causes illness.
So, if you’re feeling the sniffles and a headache coming on, it is best you stay indoors and take good care of yourself.
This very common respiratory condition that causes the airways in the body to constrict, limiting the amount of air getting in and out of the lungs.
Dr James Wedner, an asthma expert at Washington University, says that people with asthmaexperience two challenges during winter.
1. When they’re indoors they inhale asthma-triggers such as pet hair, mould, dander and dust mites.
2.Outdoors, the cold air may give rise to asthma attacks.
Doctors suggest that patients should test what their triggers are and once these have been established, treat their condition accordingly.
Known as the world’s number one disability, arthritis is literally known as inflammation of the joints and consists of more than 100 different rheumatic diseases that cause immense pain, swelling, inflammation and impaired movement of the joints.
The number of people living with this condition is staggering.
According to arthritis.org:
· More than 50 million adults have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, which makes it one in five people over the age of 18.
· Almost 300,000 babies and children have arthritis or a rheumatic condition. That’s 1 in 250 children.
· The number of people expected to have doctor-diagnosed arthritis by the year 2030 is 67 million.
It’s been proven over and over that cold weather and arthritis aren’t exactly the best of friends, so staying indoors may just be the biggest favour you can do yourself this winter.