Common ER Visits During Winter

Common ER Visits During Winter

Common ER Visits During Winter

When temperatures drop to single digits, you might experience some discomfort. Sometimes, it can affect your health and overall quality of life. Weather monitoring can help you prepare accordingly to avoid unwanted symptoms and injuries. Read on to discover more about common ER visits during winter.

Respiratory Illnesses

Cold air is usually dry, and it can affect the fluid in your airways. A dry throat can lead to inflammation and irritation that worsens underlying chronic illnesses such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Additionally, cold weather influences the overproduction of mucus, which can create blockages in your respiratory system and make you vulnerable to cold-related infections such as flu.

Exposure to cold air can be dangerous if you have an existing respiratory illness. If untreated, the complications can lead to:

  • Acute respiratory failure: It happens when your lungs can’t release enough oxygen into your lungs and can be fatal if it isn’t treated immediately.
  • Congestive heart failure: A blockage in your airways might lead to severe shortness of breath. When this happens, your heart muscles weaken and failure to properly pump blood into your heart can lead to congestive heart failure.

Seasonal Allergies

Sometimes, your immune system can’t fight harmful pathogens that cause seasonal allergies when you experience colder and harsher weather conditions. If you have underlying conditions such as chronic sinusitis, you might be more vulnerable to sudden changes to cold weather. It’s important to stay prepared and prevent being triggered, by:

  • Using a nasal spray to ease the nasal pressure when sleeping.
  • Getting an allergy shot if you suffer from chronic allergic reactions.
  • Using over-the-counter antihistamines to relieve symptoms.

Muscle and Joint Pain

Did you know that when it gets cold, a change in barometric pressure occurs, causing your bones and muscles to expand? This expansion can put pressure on your joints and reduce their flexibility and mobility. If you have arthritis, you are likely to feel joint pain, making it difficult to focus on your everyday activities.

To avoid muscle and joint pain and a trip to the emergency room this winter, you should consider:

  • Keeping your body temperature consistent and make sure you stay warm.
  • Moderate exercise to improve mobility and reduce muscle and joint stiffness.
  • Eating a balanced diet to reduce weight gain can reduce the pressure on your joints.
  • Staying hydrated to reduce muscle cramping and increase the lubrication of your joints.
  • Being mindful of potential risks and managing your pain with medication or heating pads to ease your symptoms.

Burns and Smoke Inhalation

Relying on heating appliances to stay warm in winter can lead to life-threatening emergencies. Research suggests that the risk of fire-related injuries increases during winter. In most cases, gas heaters and open flames are the main contributors to severe burns and fatal smoke inhalation.

In most cases, burns and smoke inhalation go hand in hand. It’s essential to reduce the risk of fire-related injuries by following these practical tips:

  • Keep flammable liquids, matches and lighters away from children.
  • Check if there are any faults in electrical appliances before using them.
  • Teach your loved ones about fire safety.
  • Create a fire evacuation plan for your family.
  • Have a list of emergency contacts and use the FREE-to-use iER App to connect to emergency responders.

Non-Specific Chest Pain

The change in barometric pressure in cold temperatures affects more than your joints. It can thin your blood vessels and constrict your lung muscles in the worst-case scenario. This can impact your heart health and increase your risk of having a heart attack.

Severe chest pain caused by cold weather can be life-threatening when accompanied by these symptoms:

  • Shortness of breath.
  • Sharp pain or discomfort in your chest.
  • Pain in your body, including your arms, shoulders, neck or back.
  • Feeling lightheaded and dizzy.
  • Unusual tiredness.

While winter can be challenging if you have underlying conditions, there are effective ways to prevent the risk of symptoms and injuries. Take better care of your health and improve your quality of life with practical preventative measures. Affinity Rescue ensures your emergency evacuation and medical needs remain a priority.

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