We’re officially in the storm season here in Oklahoma. We’re already experiencing very high winds, temperature sudden rise and drop and thunderstorms. When you listen to the weather news, the weatherman is pointing at some buildup or development of severe weather.
Although we prepare for emergencies, many of us don’t stop to think about the impact that the storm season has on our health and well being.
In this article, I’d like to bring up a number of health issues to aware of and simple ways to remedy them. This information does not constitute medical advice so please check with your healthcare provider before trying anything. Now that we’ve set the expectation, let’s dive in.
Asthma and Allergies
It seems like a large percentage of the population gets affected by asthma and allergies every year. During the storm season, it really gets messy because of spring time blooming flowers and high winds blowing everywhere. The symptoms can be as simple as running nose or watery eyes to more serious issues such as inability to breath or choking due to swollen pipes.
The remedy for this is to be prepared with your meds before the storm season arrives. Check in with your doctor and see if you need new prescription a change in medication depending on how you feel. The website, www.WEBMD.com outlines a number of ways to help relief the symptoms:
- Know your triggers. If you know what triggers your asthma/allergies then you can better prepare for or avoid those situations where you’ll be in contact with your triggers,
- Learn Do-It-Yourself measures. There are many steps you can take to eliminate or minimize your exposure to allergens and they’re easy to do. For example, wear protective mask when gardening or doing yard work,
- Get proper treatment. If over-the-counter medications do not work, it may be time to check in with the doctor and get proper treatment. It may be that you’re treating the wrong symptoms or causes for your asthma/allergies,
- Beware of foods that trigger your symptoms. If you have seasonal allergies to ragweed, be aware that eating certain foods may trigger your symptoms.
The sudden changes in weather, and specifically air pressure, can cause one to feel some pain in the joints. If you already have a disease that causes joint pain such as arthritis then it might be more severe or varied.
Stay warm. Dressing in layers, keeping your home heated, and warming up the car before you get in can help ease pain related to cold weather, according to the National Institutes of Health. Also try sleeping under an electric blanket or warming clothes in the dryer before wearing. Another recommended plan is to discuss with your doctor about creating a changing-weather treatment plan. This is helpful for people who have existing conditions or not.
Our body blood pressure is also affected during the storm season. One of the causes of changing blood pressure is the fact that temperature drops and rises rapidly. Low temperatures cause your blood vessels to narrow while high temperature causes blood vessels to widen, meaning on the whole, blood pressure is lower in the summer. Fluctuating blood pressure can cause a number of health issues including migraines, dizziness, hot flushes and even heart issues. If you experience any of these, contact your doctor and seek advice on how to go about normalizing your blood pressure.
As the days get longer, the additional exposure to bright light often triggers migraines. Migraines can also be caused by other ailments brought about by the storm season including blood pressure, joint pain and allergies. There are a number of triggers for migraines:
- dry air condition,
- barometric pressure changes,
- temperature fluctuations
Here are some ways that you can minimize migraine pain:
- Get a humidifier in your house or office to provide some moisture in the air you breath,
- Drink more fluids. This helps keeps blood sugar and pressure at good levels,
- Avoid triggers, such bright light and noise.
I hope this helps you and your family stay healthy and safe this storm season. If you have more tips please share them in the comments below.