Avoid Getting a Summer Cold

April 15, 2018

Filed under: Blog,General — Tags: , — southlakedental @ 2:55 pm

With the winter in the rearview mirror now, you’re probably looking ahead with the knowledge that cold and flu season is finally over. Unfortunately, it’s still possible to pick up a cold (or cold-like symptoms) in the spring and summer. There are some steps you can take to avoid getting a summer cold. Read on to find out what they are.

Wash Your Hands

Just as you did over the winter, be sure to wash your hands frequently. Although there aren’t as many germs lurking around as there were at the height of flu season, you can still pick up bugs by touching doorknobs, handrails, grocery carts, and the like. After you get home from being out in public, give your hands a good washing with warm water and soap. If you’re going to a place that’s expected to be crowded, consider carrying hand sanitizer.

Treat Your Allergies

Symptoms of a summer cold that linger for more than a week or two might be caused by allergies to pollen, mold, or other environmental factors. A lingering cough, postnasal drip, stuffiness, or headache might very well be caused by hayfever. This can, in some cases, progress into a sinus infection, so it’s important to have your allergies treated. See your doctor if you get a cold that isn’t improving after a week.

Keep Your Immune System Healthy

There are lifestyle choices you can make that will reduce your risk of developing a summer cold. Eat healthy foods (focus on fruits, vegetables, lean sources of protein, and whole grains), get enough sleep, and be sure to exercise each day. Going for a walk outdoors also exposes you to vitamin D, which can boost your immunity. Go in the early morning or early evening without sunscreen so you can reap the benefits of the sun without putting yourself at risk from the UV rays. (Be sure to cover up and use sunscreen the rest of the time.)

Staying healthy through the summer is usually easier than doing so during the winter, but being aware of the ways you can avoid a summer cold is always helpful!

Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

December 3, 2017

Filed under: Blog,General — Tags: , , , — southlakedental @ 7:37 pm

‘Tis the season for holiday greetings, mall Santas, and getting together with family and friends. While all of these are wonderful, the winter season often features something not-so-wonderful: symptoms of coughing, sneezing, sniffling, headaches, and fevers. Unfortunately, cold and flu season is upon us. We want all of our patients to stay healthy, so here are our best tips for staying healthy this winter and beyond.

Get a Flu Shot

If you are able to safely get a flu shot (your doctor will be able to tell you if it’s right for you or if you should skip it), please strongly consider doing so! The influenza vaccine can protect you, your family, and members of the community from an illness that kills approximately 36,000 Americans every year. It’s recommended for almost everyone over the age of 6 months, and even during the seasons when it’s not a perfect match for the viruses circulating in your area, it can reduce your chances of being hospitalized with the flu. Note that the flu shot can’t give you the flu; it might make you achy and give you a fever for a day, but you won’t be contagious or at risk for the complications that influenza can cause.

Wash Your Hands

Following the flu shot, the most important and effective way to stop the spread of illness is simple handwashing. Make it a habit to lather up after getting home from being out and about, before preparing food, and, of course, after using the restroom. If you work with the public, wash more frequently; you might also consider using an antibacterial gel for times when you can’t access a sink for a full wash.

Quarantine Yourself

If you notice that you’re getting sick, stay home if at all possible. Preventing the spread of colds and the flu through the community does everyone else a favor. Cough into your sleeve or a tissue, wash your hands often, and don’t share utensils, glasses, or towels when you’re sick. If you can’t stay home, at least minimize your interactions with others, particularly those who are under the age of 5, elderly, or immunocompromised.

Keep Up With Your Healthy Habits

One final way to keep yourself healthy is to follow the rules of a healthy lifestyle. Don’t smoke, exercise daily, get outside each day for fresh air, get enough sleep, and eat healthy foods. These will all help you stay healthy all year long and are especially important during cold and flu season.