The frequency of respiratory tract infections has increased because of the cold weather. Diseases affecting the respiratory tract can spread rapidly in closed environments, and negatively affect the life quality of people with symptoms such as shortness of breath, phlegm and coughing.
Dr Necla Songür from the Department of Pulmonology at Memorial Antalya Hospital warned that upper respiratory tract infections, which are often mistaken for the flu, can cause serious problems when they are neglected.
Dr Songür said, “Flu triggers the current allergies. The body’s defence system falls down because the sick person has to deal with both the flu and the allergy. The weakening of the defence system can even lead to life losses in the case of becoming chronic as it causes the illness to heal much later and the patient to use more medicine.”
Allergic illnesses can be triggered
In the winter season, influenza, sinusitis, laryngitis, upper and lower respiratory tract infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia, weakness, malaise, sore throat, sneezing, cough, fever and nasal flow are frequently seen.
Allergies experienced in these months may also occur with similar symptoms. People with an allergic body should not spend a lot of time outdoors and they should not stay in the woods or places with grass for a long time.
Drinking water helps against infection
Highlighting one of the most important ways to keep body resistance high is a balanced diet, Dr Songür continued, “An average of 2.5 litres of water should be consumed per day. Water, which is vital to stimulate the toxin removal and to revive the body, also makes the respiratory tract remain moist. Drying in the respiratory tract prepares the ground for infections. If the flu is not treated, it may rapidly progress to the lower respiratory tract and cause viral pneumonia.”
15 things to be careful about in the winter months:
- Consume foods rich in protein such as fish, milk, eggs, red and white meat to strengthen body resistance.
- Green leafy seasonal vegetables, foods containing calcium such as milk and yoghurt should be on your table.
- Stay away from foods stored in warehouses and frozen foods.
- Eat fruits and vegetables in their seasons.
- Take probiotics, vitamins and mineral supplements to strengthen the immune system.
- Try to sleep at least six to seven hours per day.
- Benefit from the fresh air and the sun outdoors during the day when you have a chance.
- Do sports at least five days a week. If you are allergic, choose swimming.
- Choose your clothing according to the weather conditions. Wear neither too thick nor too thin clothing in the period when temperature changes are experienced.
- Get flu and pneumonia vaccine at the beginning of autumn.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Protect yourself from contact with people suffering from flu or cold.
- Always clean frequently-touched items.
- Ventilate environments where you spend a long period of time, such as your home or office.
- Stay away from crowded environments as much as possible.