Health Watch: Can Warm Winter Weather Make Us Sick?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The recent bout of unseasonably warm weather has had people unpacking theur shorts and t-shirts this holiday season.

But with the fluctuating weather also comes ups and downs in our health — with the common belief that hot-to-cold weather makes a perfect catalyst for illness.

Or does it?

According to some medical experts, changing weather conditions may have less of an impact on our health than we think.

“While the common cold is more common in the winter, it is a myth to believe that weather change will cause any viral or bacterial infections,” Dr. Yolanda Yu, a pediatrician, said.

But fluctuations in the weather can be a shock to your system, and have other effects on your body, CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported.

“With the fluctuations in the weather you might get some swelling in your sinus passages, that can mimic those feelings of being sick and those are oftentimes related to allergies,” Dr. Vance Vandergriff, of Family Medicine and Urgent Care, said.

Over-the-counter antihistamines, nasal sprays, or even a more thorough nasal rinse to flush out allergens, before going to the doctor — those remedies may be all you need.

“If those don’t get treated and that pressure sits there and fluid builds up, sometimes bacterial infections can occur as a result of that,” Vandergriff said.

Getting enough sleep is also critical to keeping your immune system up and running.

Doctors say infections usually spike around the holidays because we’re all in close contact. To prevent getting sick, keep your fingers out of your eyes and nose, and remember that a good hand-washing regimen is the best way to stay protected.

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