FORTY FORT, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – It’s the time of year when trying to stay healthy can be a challenge.
There are so many factors that can wear down your immune system. Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller offers advice help to keep you out of the doctor’s office.
Geisinger Pediatrician Ashley Pearce treats children but sometimes it’s not just kids coming to her office who are ill.
“We see that a lot sort of going through families. One person is sick, then another person in the family gets sick so definitely this time of year can pass on a lot of illnesses,” she said.
While you might be tempted to blame snowy, slick weather for taking a toll on your immune system it’s likely something else.
Dr. Pearce said, “Definitely hundreds of different viruses that are very common this time of year.”
The common cold or Rhinovirus hits a lot of us. So does the flu, respiratory viruses or intestinal bugs and who needs that this or any time of year. So how do you prevent getting sick? Even though you’ve heard the advice what may seem like a million times, Dr. Pearce wants you to hear it again.
“Washing your hands… a lot, especially if you’re around people who might be sick as well,” she said.
Limit your time and contact with people who you know are sick and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. But we’re just getting started with tips to keep you well.
Dr. Pearce said, “The other thing is eating healthy. So, making sure we’re eating a good diet. And then drinking lots and lots of water.”
Why is water so important? The immune system relies on it to fight off infections. Besides staying hydrated, make sure you’re well-rested.
Dr. Pearce said, “Sleep is really important. So eight hours of sleep a night is ideal to get. And then resting as much as possible when we are sick and kind of letting our bodies sort of reset.”
And one more thing to keep you from getting sick.
“Making sure that we’re sort of up to date on all of your vaccines and flu vaccine as well,” said Dr. Pearce.
This is also the time of year to consider using a humidifier. It will help combat dry, wintry air which is linked to the common cold and the flu, along with upper respiratory and sinus infections.