In autumn, we all start to think about ways to protect ourselves from colds and flu. We get flu shots and read advice on how to keep out family fit and healthy throughout the winter. But, what about the rest of the year? Cold weather certainly isn’t the only thing that contributes to getting sick. There are plenty of bugs and complaints going around throughout the summer, and just as many ways to avoid them. Let’s take a look at some of the most common summer ailments and how you can protect yourself from them. The last thing you want is to be stuck indoors sick when the sun is shining and everyone else is out having fun.
It’s important to remember that sickness isn’t the only thing that can put you flat out on the couch. Injuries can be even worse. In the winter, we fall and slip in the snow, and there are more car accidents on icy roads than the rest of the year. But, injuries can happen at any time. The sun’s rays can blind you, leading to accidents and falling. You could trip when playing with the kids in the park, and every year thousands of people manage to injure themselves while spring cleaning their home.
Wear sunglasses, take your time, be careful and make sure you read instructions and safety advice on any equipment and cleaning products. If you do sustain an injury, it’s a good idea to contact a personal injury lawyer if your daily life will be affected. But, try not to let it come to that in the first place.
Hay fever or rhinitis is one of the most common reasons for being stuck inside during the spring and summer months. Around 8.5% of adults have been officially diagnosed with hay fever. But, many people self-medicate or suffer alone without visiting their doctor, so the actual number of people affected could be significantly higher.
Hay fever is a seasonal allergy. People are allergic to grass pollen, flower pollen or the pollen from springtime blossom. This can cause sore and itchy eyes, sneezing, a runny and itchy nose, fatigue, earache, headache, a tickly throat and cough, and shortness of breath. In extreme cases, it can be debilitating.
You can’t prevent rhinitis as such, but you can minimize your symptoms. Do this by:
- Taking an antihistamine,
- Showering before bed to wash away any pollen on your skin or in your hair,
- Putting Vaseline around your nose to catch the pollen particles before they enter your body,
- Wearing wraparound sunglasses to keep the pollen out of your eyes,
- Vacuuming, washing towels and changing bedding regularly, and
- Keeping your windows and doors closed at home
Hay fever can last for months, so if your symptoms are severe and it affects your quality of life, you should visit your doctor for further help.
Sunburn is another incredibly common problem in warmer weather and, despite all of the advice and warnings out there, many of us still make the same mistakes. We might apply sunscreen on very hot days, but only in the morning when we get dressed.
The reality is that this just isn’t enough. You should be applying sunscreen on any exposed skin, even on cloudy days. Yes, the harmful UV rays from the sun can penetrate and cause damage even through the clouds. Also, remember to reapply sunscreen every few hours, especially after you’ve been in the water.
Skin damage from sunburn can be exceptionally painful. It can leave your skin red, blistered and sore. As it starts to heal, your skin can peel and itch, and long-term this damage can lead to skin cancer. So, it’s imperative that you protect yourself.
It’s not just your skin that can be damaged from too much time in the sun. Being in direct sunlight for too long can lead to heat stroke. The symptoms of heat stroke can include:
- Red skin,
- Cramps and muscle weakness, and
- Shallow breathing
These symptoms can become very serious and require hospitalization. To reduce the risks of getting heat stroke, stay indoors or in the shade in the midday sun, wear a wide-brimmed hat, and make sure you drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
The Common Cold
We don’t just get colds in winter. Struggling with a common cold can happen at any time of the year. To avoid this, be sure to practice good personal hygiene and get as much rest as you can.