With the arrival of Thanksgiving, the holiday season will be officially underway, which means cold weather will soon be headed toward the Washington D.C. area. This means cold, snow, ice, and more cold.

While winter weather tends to create a nightmare for transportation and energy bills, we often fail to realize that it has a profound effect on our bodies, and potentially our health, as well. Medics USA urgent cares in the Washington D.C. area are dedicated to keeping you safe, healthy, and well-educated about health topics. Keep reading to learn more about the negative effects of cold weather on your health and how your local urgent care clinic in DC can help you fight back!

Cold Weather Has Been Linked To…

1. Weakened Immune System

Remember when grandma admonished you to put on your hat and coat, lest you “catch your death of cold”? Well, although the cold alone can’t make you sick, she wasn’t entirely wrong. Cold weather has been shown to suppress your immune system. This can make it harder for your body’s natural defense system to protect you, especially from infectious organisms–like the flu virus–which actually thrive in cold weather.

2. Lung Spasms/Asthma

Are you naturally prone to respiratory problems, or do you suffer from asthma? Winter can be an especially rough season for people who have breathing problems, like the very young or very old. The simple act of breathing in cold air through the mouth and into the lungs can send these vital organs into spasms and cause swelling. And it’s not like you can stop breathing! Finding a way to warm air before you breath it (such as wrapping a scarf around your nose and mouth) or consciously breathing through your nose, can help.

3. Migraines

When the barometric pressure drops, such as when weather suddenly changes from warm to cold, it can trigger pronounced effects. Many people in Washington D.C find that they experience sinus issues and migraines during this time of year, and if you’re already dealing with these health issues, they can get markedly worse during the winter.

4. Insomnia

If you’ve been feeling extra sleepy since the end of Daylight Savings Time, you might wonder how this could possibly be true, but even though the days or shorter you might still experience insomnia during the winter months. If the temperature gets too low in your bedroom overnight, it can hinder the natural production of melatonin, which helps your body fall asleep and stay asleep.

5. Strains/Sprains/Burns

As we already discussed in a previous post about safe snow shoveling techniques, there are physical hazards associated with winter weather as well. Slipping and falling on icy sidewalks, forgetting to stretch before shoveling heavy snow, and ill-advised turkey frying incidents, cold weather usually comes along with its fair share of unexpected injuries and trips to the urgent care at odd hours.

Visit Your Urgent Care For Any Health Issues Brought On By Cold Weather

No matter what sort of health issues you may experience as the result of cold weather in the Washington D.C. area, please remember that your Medics USA urgent care is always prepared to help. We can treat a wide variety of non-critical health issues, and are open late and on weekends to help accommodate your holiday schedule!

Please don’t hesitate to book an appointment with our urgent care clinics in DC if you start feeling under the weather, or find that your migraines, sinus issues, or pain gets worse when cold weather hits. We have two locations, one in Dupont Circle and one in Columbia Heights, to make it even easier to take care of your health this winter.