The arrival of low temperatures in winter can cause various risks and problems for our health, although fortunately in most cases they are easy to prevent if we take proper precautions and care.
Next, we review with Dr. Olga Orozco, family doctor at Vithas Xanit Internacional hospital, some of the most common risks to our health at this time of year and how we can prevent them:
Prevent problems caused by heating
In areas where the cold is intense in winter, use of heating is essential. However, we must be careful not to set a temperature that is too high, being the optimum winter temperature of 21ºC, since it guarantees a feeling of comfort while controlling energy consumption, excess heat, as well as the dryness it produces in the environment, which negatively affect our health, and can cause a sensation of discomfort, dryness in our skin and eyes, as well as aggravate certain respiratory or circulatory pathologies.
In the case of combustion heating systems, special care must be taken, since bad combustion can produce and cause very dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide to accumulate, being essential to ensure that such heating equipment is always in good condition and has an adequate output of gases to the outside.
In the snow, protect our eyes from the sun
If we go to the mountain to ski, practice other winter sports or any other activity, we must not forget that in the mountain we are very exposed to ultraviolet radiation form the sun, especially our eyes.
Excessive exposure to these ultraviolet rays can cause an inflammation of the cornea called solar keratitis, also known as “snow blindness” in the short term. In addition, prolonged long-term exposure can lead to much more serious pathologies, such as irreversible damage to the retina or the appearance of cataracts prematurely.
Therefore, it is essential to always use sunglasses suitable for snow, which completely cover our eyes and offer a good level of protection.
In this other article of our blog you will find more information about how to protect our eyes in the snow.
Get vaccinated to prevent the flu
The flu is an infection that affects us every year between the months of November and April, with the greatest number of infections occurring in the months of January and February.
Vaccination is the most effective way to fight it, because thanks to vaccines our body can generate antibodies against the flu in advance, making it more difficult to get it or, if we still get infected, its symptoms would be milder. It should be borne in mind that it can take 2 to 4 weeks for our body to develop antibodies after vaccination, so you should be vaccinated in advance to be effective. In Spain, public health vaccination campaigns usually take place in October or November.
Every year a new flu vaccine is necessary. This is due to the great capacity of mutation of these viruses, which causes the flu virus strains to change every year, causing the previous vaccines to lose effectiveness and a new one is needed against the most recent strains of the virus.
Vaccination against flu is especially recommended for those who may be at greater risk in case of contracting it, so that among these risk groups are those with chronic diseases, pregnant women and those over 65. On the other hand, it is also recommended to those professionals who maintain direct and continuous contact with the public, such as health personnel, who are very exposed and could be a transmitter in the consultations.
It is possible and advisable, if indicated, to administer the pneumococcal vaccine in those populations at risk on the same day of the flu vaccine.
Take care of the health of our skin
The cold of winter also affects our skin, causing it to dry, become more sensitive and present a muted appearance. It is essential to keep the skin hydrated, do not forget to drink between 1.5-2L of water a day. In winter also make use of sunscreen daily, wear gloves and warm clothes, and avoid, where possible, sudden changes in temperature. However, with proper care we can improve its appearance, in this other article you will find tips to take care of our skin in winter.
On the other hand, those who are thinking of undergoing an aesthetic treatment to rejuvenate the skin should take into account that the colder winter temperatures favor greater effectiveness in this type of treatments, being a good time for it.
Care of our hair
In addition to the skin, our hair is also affected by the environmental conditions of the winter, both by the lack of moisture in the cold air outside and by the hot air from indoor heating.
In the following link we remind you of some tips on how to take care of our hair in winter, in order to keep it healthier and hydrated, bright and without frizz.
Healthcare and treatments at Vithas Xanit Internacional
Whether you are looking for the best health care or undergo some aesthetic medicine treatment, at Vithas Xanit Internacional we put at your service the best specialists, with the most advanced technology and the latest techniques, who allow us to obtain the best possible results for our patients. Contact us for more information or make an appointment.