Winter Weather Handbook: Winter Weather and Your Health

Winter Weather Handbook

EYEWITNESS WEATHER (WBRE/WYOU-TV) —  We have heard about shoveling and its connection to heart attacks and of course, falls due to icy conditions… But there is so much more to consider. 

Meteorologist Logan Westrope talks about how weather can affect your health with Dr. Tina George.

“A lot of things change with the colder weather. The first and most obvious is colds and viruses. A lot of viruses are more stable in the colder weather and they stay in the air and on surfaces longer,” Dr. Tina George, family physician, Commonwealth Health said.

We all have been there before as mother nature ushers in the winter months with a vengeance.  

From the sneezing, coughing, to aches and pains, Dr. George is no stranger to dealing with these complications. 

“There’s a range of other complaints too: skin conditions are more common in terms of cold weather causing cracking and dryness, that can be sometimes a cause for infection in skin. So, we sometimes see that as a result.” 

Dr. George says breathing conditions and asthma are triggered by the drop in temperatures. 

And the cold causes cardiovascular health issues, as the blood vessels contract. 

But what about the weather patterns, as differences with high and low pressure systems can often put you “under the weather ?”

“Even folks who don’t necessarily have sinus infections can have sinus discomfort with those changes in the weather and humidity,”  the doctor noted.

And why does it seem our noses *always* run in the cold? 

“Our noses will run and that’s related to the vasoconstriction that we see with cold weather. As the blood vessels constrict and some of the fluid comes out and then we tend to have rhinorrhea or runny nose that can happen.” 

And finally, as daylight fades away, so can our tempers. 

And Dr. George says exercising, even in small amounts or in your home, are great ways to fight seasonal affective disorder. 

Exercises as simple as walking in your house or just doing workout tapes can go a long way! 

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