When the air starts to get a little chillier and the nights start to get a little longer, our bodies sometimes have trouble adjusting and it makes us more vulnerable to germs. Kids also pile back into close quarters with one another at this time, so viruses can easily gain a foothold and spread like wildfire. Understanding the common ailments that tend to come out in the fall, as well as how to prevent them and when to use health insurance to see a doctor, can help you and your family to stay healthy.

Common Cold

Changes in outdoor temperatures occupy our immune systems with maintaining a healthy internal temperature, while changes in humidity and precipitation may make it harder for our bodies to flush out germs. These factors make us more vulnerable to cold germs that come our way. Most colds clear up with just rest and an increase in fluid intake, but some can worsen into viral infections. See a doctor if your cold seems to be hanging on or if symptoms worsen after a week or two.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tube lining. This inflammation can make it difficult to breathe and can cause pain. Thick mucus also builds up as a symptom of bronchitis, exacerbating breathing problems. Acute bronchitis generally clears up quickly without intervention, but chronic bronchitis may require medical assistance to treat.

Ear Infections

Ear infections occur more often during the fall and winter than other times of year. Inflammation from bacterial or viral infections can cause pain and swelling in the Eustachian tubes. This inflammation allows germs and fluid to build up in the middle ear and prevents drainage. Even without infection, inflammation in the Eustachian tubes can cause a stuffy feeling in the ears. Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs may help to reduce the symptoms of an ear infection, but surgery may be needed if ear infections recur frequently.

Ulcers

Ulcers tend to occur more frequently in the autumn, which may be related to changes in diet as richer, heartier foods are eaten more often. Increased alcohol consumption and increased stress associated with moving into the darker, busier time of year may also play a role. Avoid ulcers by practicing healthy habits, eating more healthy soups, and seeing your doctor regularly about any digestive complaints.

Arthritis and Joint Issues

Lower temperatures and damp conditions have been associated with spikes in pain sensations associated with arthritis and other joint issues. Taking more hot baths and taking anti-inflammatory medication when the weather is unfavorable can help to reduce symptoms and pain associated with these conditions. Doctors may also recommend gentle range of motion exercises to maintain joint mobility and muscle tone.

To stay healthy this fall, make sure you attend regular doctor visits that are often covered by health insurance. If you need health insurance coverage, call us today so that we can help you select a plan that fits your needs.