Winter can be an enjoyable time for many people. Some of us love the thought of snow-filled landscapes, sitting by a fire and drinking a hot chocolate. But for a small percentage of us this idyllic picture could quickly change for the worse. Colds, sore throats and norovirus are more common in the winter and people with pre-existing health conditions are particularly vulnerable.
Colds, coughs, norovirus and other germs are spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or when someone sneezes or coughs. If you cough or sneeze, make sure that it is into a tissue. Hand washing is important and it is a good idea to carry a hand sanitising gel.
Tiredness can be a problem in winter. The days are shorter and the limited sunlight results in lower levels of vitamin D. You can prevent vitamin D deficiency by eating oily fish, eggs and meat. Exercising regularly will help to keep energy levels up too.
Some people experience extreme tiredness and may be suffering from a type of depression called Seasonal Defective Disorder (SAD), ask your private GP if you are worried about this.
If you have a long term condition such as asthma, the cold may exacerbate it. Keeping warm is important and be aware of any change in your symptoms. If you notice a worsening of your condition, arrange a review with one of our GPs who will discuss your concerns and options for treatment.
Flu is a serious, highly infectious illness. Symptoms include fever, chills, headache, muscle ache and a cough. All vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with a long term illness should have a vaccination as they are risk from complications which could be life threatening. For more information on keeping well in winter visit http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/winterhealth/pages/winterhealthhome.aspx
If you have any concerns about winter ailments and illnesses or would like to discuss the flu vaccine, our Private GPs are happy to spend time answering your questions.