The cold weather associated with the fall and winter seasons are prime times for various medical conditions. While there are actions you can take to help prevent getting sick this time of year, sometimes it just happens. Knowing what illnesses are most prevalent during the fall is key to diagnosing early.
Typically peaking between November and February, the flu commonly results in fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, fatigue and sometimes vomiting. The flu is spread via droplets made when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes or talks. Those infected are contagious one day before symptoms appear and up to 7 days after becoming sick. In most cases, the flu is treated using influenza antiviral drugs.
While ultimately harmless, the common cold can be miserable. Over the course of a year, people in the United States develop 1 billion colds. Known by a sore throat, stuffy nose, coughing and sneezing, the common cold is spread by touching your eyes or nose when germs are on your hands. While there is no cure for the common cold, treatment may include getting rest, drinking plenty of water, using cough drops and taking cold medicine.
When your immune system overreacts to an allergen (this could be something as harmless as plant pollen, dust mites or food), you experience allergies. Certain allergies become worse during certain times of the year. Common allergy symptoms include skin rash, headache, sneezing, runny nose, nausea and diarrhea. While someone who suffers from allergies will likely never be completely rid of them, there is medication that can usually help, depending on the type of allergy he or she suffers from.
When sinuses become blocked and filled with fluids, germs can cause an infection, known as sinusitis. This blockage can be caused from a number of things, including the common cold, allergic rhinitis, nasal polyps and a deviated septum. Facial pressure, stuffy or runny nose, loss of smell and congestion are all symptoms of sinusitis. An antibiotic is sometimes recommended if the symptoms have been persistent and a bacterial infection is suspected for sinusitis treatment, although a warm compress and over-the-counter decongestants can sometimes help.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Commonly referred to as SAD, seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression experienced when the seasons change. Normally, the disorder begins in the fall and continues into the winter. Those experiencing SAD will likely feel depressed and hopeless every day, have low energy, be easily agitated, lose interest in activities and experience difficulty concentrating. Most often, light therapy will help for SAD, although sometimes antidepressants are prescribed.
If you’re experiencing a seasonal illness like any of the above, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care for a proper diagnosis. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend. Be sure to check in online at dentionregionalurgentcare.com!
Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.