While the risk of respiratory problems and contagious viruses is present year-round, we tend to be most vulnerable to them during the fall and winter seasons, mostly because people tend to spend more time indoors and around other people when the weather gets cold.
This winter, protect yourself and your family from respiratory illnesses by following the tips below:
Get the Flu Shot
There are plenty of reasons to get your flu shot every year. According to the CDC, more than 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized from flu-related complications each year. Young children and people 65 or older are always at a higher risk of complications, so make sure your family members all get their flu shot as well.
The flu vaccine comes in the form of a shot or a nasal spray and the best time to get it is from October through November, but if you haven’t gotten it this year don’t worry! Getting a flu shot in December and January is still effective.
Wash Your Hands Often
Both the flu and colds are passed from one person to another through coughing, sneezing, and contaminated surfaces, including the hands. In order to better prevent getting sick this winter, make sure that you wash your hands often with warm water and soap for about 15 seconds each time.
Keep Your Hands Away From Your Face
Even if you’ve been washing your hands regularly, do your best to keep them away from your mouth and nose area to further prevent coming into contact with viruses.
Avoid Exposure to Infected People
We know this isn’t easy, especially if a member of your household is sick, but do your best to limit your exposure to infected people and avoid drinking from the same cups, or using the same eating utensils for as long as they are sick.
Limit Your Stress Levels
Stress can lower your immune system and make you more exposed to getting sick. In general, you should try to keep your stress levels low. If this is hard for you, try relaxing activities like meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises.
Healthy Eating and Sleeping
Maintain a balanced diet and make sure you get enough sleep every night to keep your immune system strong.
Exercise can also strengthen your immune system and help it better fight off viruses and germs that cause illnesses.
These tips are great for your day to day virus prevention but are especially important during flu season. If you end up getting sick this winter season, don’t hesitate to visit an ENT like Dr. Pasha to get the proper treatment.