Understanding common winter ailments and quick remedies

(IANSlife) Delhi/NCR has been hit by a severe cold wave. The temperature is expected to drop further in the coming days. Dr. Tarun Sahni, Senior Consultant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals elaborates on quick tips to bear with the dropping temperatures.

During winters, the body heat usually experiences a drop as the environment cools. At the same time, the body is adjusting to the new climate. As a result, the change in the process is demonstrated through a number of diseases. Adults, as well as children, are very susceptible to the change in the climate.

Winter diseases affecting children

**Flu, common cold and fever

Causes: Kids with low immunity are generally being affected due to changes in weather or exposure to an infected individual’s cough.

Symptoms: One will have fever, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat, chesty cough, headache, aches and pains, and fatigue.

Treatment: it is recommended not to use over the counter medication since many people are reactive to a few components. Hence, always consult a doctor before taking any medicines.

**Tonsil Infection

Causes: Eating anything cold, virus or bacteria in the air.

Symptoms: Irritation of the throat, pain in the throat, enlarged tonsils, unable to gulp food or liquids.

Treatment: Gargle with warm water with a hint of salt. Consult a doctor.


Causes: It most commonly is caused by a viral infection and is spread from person to person when coming in direct contact with nose and throat fluids of someone carrying the virus.

Symptoms: It is a swelling and mucus build-up within the smallest lung air passages.

Treatment: Consult a doctor.

**Stomach Flu

Causes: Infected water and food and unclean hands.

Symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, excessive flatulence, vomiting, and fever.

Treatment: Consult a doctor. Make sure the child is well hydrated with a lot of liquids.**Chicken Pox

Causes: Infection in the air, direct contact with an infected individual.

Symptoms: Chickenpox is one of the most contagious diseases in the world. The child will have bumps/ blisters that are itchy and contagious, rashes.

Treatment: If it is detected at an early stage, light medications can help treat this. Avoid itching and keep all daily clothes and items used by the infected kid separate. Always consult a doctor.

**Acute Ear Infection

Causes: Excessive cold may result in an acute ear infection. Another cause of bacterial ear infection is due to moisture in the ear.

Symptoms: This leads to ear pain, blocked ears, itchy Ears. An ear infection can occur even overnight, so it is best to identify it at the earliest.

Treatment: Ear infection can be painful so it is best to see a doctor.

Winter affecting adults

**Coughs and croup

Causes: Winter also brings with it a lot of dust, dryness and cold winds. This adds to cough symptoms. Having warm beverages of extreme temperatures also triggers a throat infection.

Symptoms: The croup cough often is described as “barking” or “like a seal” and is quite loud.

Treatment: People with mild and moderate croup can usually be easily treated with nebulized treatments and steroids. Consult a doctor before starting any self-treatment.


Causes: Re-warming of cold skin can cause small blood vessels under the skin to expand more quickly than nearby larger blood vessels can handle.

Symptoms: Signs chilblains are itching, red patches, swelling and blistering on your hands and feet.

Treatment: Treatment involves protecting yourself from the cold and using lotions to ease the symptoms. The condition can lead to infection, which may cause severe damage if left untreated.

**Respiratory ailments

Causes: The main source of infection is inhaling droplets with the concerned organism exhaled by already infected people. The cold and dry air leads to the tightening of airways and makes it even worse while breathing.

Symptoms: Individuals suffering from respiratory conditions, such as asthma or COPD, may find it increasingly difficult to breathe during extremely cold temperatures and conditions worsen.

Treatment: Keep inhaler handy and see a doctor immediately in case of an emergency.

**Heart attack

Causes Winters is one of the prime seasons for heart attacks. As the temperature falls, the arteries become constricted making it difficult for the heart to pump the blood.

Symptoms: The most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort.

Treatment: The doctor usually prescribes certain medications after proper diagnosis.


Causes: Exposure to the cold has effects on the body ranging from increased blood pressure and constriction of blood vessels to the clotting tendency of platelets.

Symptoms: Weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg on one side of the body. Loss of speech, vision, and balance.

Treatment: Stroke is a medical emergency and is best treated as quickly as possible.

**Joint pain

Causes: Any change in pressure, or the weight of the air pressing against the surface of the earth, can trigger joint pain.

Symptoms: Flaring up of joint pains or increased pain in those who are having pre-existing joint conditions (arthritis).

Treatment Eating healthy, including foods containing omega-3-fatty acids, vitamin C &K. Massaging the joints can reduce joint pain.


Causes: Cold air is a major trigger of asthma symptoms, such as wheezing and shortness of breath.

Symptoms: Asthma may cause difficulty breathing, chest pain, cough, and wheezing. The symptoms may sometimes flare-up.

Treatment: People with asthma should be especially careful in winter. Stay indoors on very cold, windy days. If you do go out, wear a scarf over your nose and mouth. Be extra vigilant about taking your regular medications, and keep rescue inhalers close by and in a warm place.

Was it worth reading? Let us know.