Cold weather and your health
Get ready for the coughing and the sneezing. Cold season is here.
Earlier this week, Lubbock saw a dramatic drop in temperature, from 81 degrees Fahrenheit one afternoon to 30 the next.
The following day a historic 15 degrees was recorded.
The chilly temperatures may mean you might be at risk for getting sick, but not for the reasons you think.
Dr. Chetlen Crossnoe, a family medicine doctor at Grace Clinic, says it is a common myth that your immune system doesn't work as well during the winter months.
"When it gets cold, and the heaters come on the air gets really dry, and that dries out our mucus membranes, it dries out our sinuses and makes it easy for that to be irritated, " he said. "Also when it gets cold, people all go inside. Of course, when everyone's gathered together like that they're more likely to pass things around."
He added, this time of year is when several irritating allergens can be found in the air, like plants or dust, for example.
The best way to stay healthy during the colder months is to make sure you are always practicing good hygiene habits, like washing your hands frequently.
"Get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, exercise. I really think it helps a lot, when people exercise regularly they're usually less susceptible to illness of all kinds," Dr. Crossnoe said.
If you do come down with something, Dr. Crossnoe recommends staying home to rest. But if more serious symptoms stick around for more than a week it may be time to see your doctor.
"Getting more ill, particularly when people are having fevers, shortness of breath, really bad pain somewhere, they need to be seen, because they could have a bacterial infection," he said.