The summer heat can be terrible in the Middle East and those who can afford to do so take a short holiday during the summer in cooler places. With the advent of winter, though, the weather becomes pleasant. There are a few things we need to watch out for, to ensure that we get through the winter without any major health issues.
Wheezing: Asthma has been increasing at alarming rates across the region. Rising urbanization, accompanied by increasing levels of smoke, dust and even pollen can trigger asthma attacks and bouts of wheezing which should not be ignored. Asthma attacks are seasonal in nature. According to an article in the UAE newspaper, The National, “about AED 88 million was spent on treating asthmatics in 2014”. It is estimated that there are 502 million asthma sufferers in the MENA region. Most of those who suffer from asthma experience at least one or two episodes of wheezing with the onset of cooler weather and need to vigilant about always having their medication within easy reach. They should also wrap themselves up well every time they go outside, especially around the neck and face and try to avoid exposure to colder temperatures as far as possible.
Persistent Coughs Another issue is persistent coughs that just won’t respond well to over the counter medications. If you experience a cough that has not cleared up even after about two weeks, it is high time you made a visit to the doctor to find out what is wrong. The cough could be the sign of a bacterial infection, an allergy or a more serious health condition.
Chapped and extremely Dry Lips: This is the season for dry and chapped lips. While using chapstick might help, you also need to check if you are overdosing on vitamin A supplements. When people take too many vitamin A supplements like cod liver oil, it can lead to dry, cracked lips. When it comes to food sources, watch your intake of butter, egg, tuna and liver. You should not take in more than 3000 IU of vitamin A in its active form
Persistent Colds Another issue you are likely to face is persistent colds. You seem to recover from one cold only to soon experience another cold. It might be wise to check your iron levels as deficiency in iron can affect your immunity to the virus that causes common cold. You need to go back to eating your greens like your mom used to say and have spinach, legumes and wholegrains. If are more of a carnivore, dark meat is the richest source of iron.
Dry Skin: You will find that your skin tends to be drier and more parched due to lack of moisture. Drink lots of water and use creams instead of lotions to keep your skin soft. Cut down your shower and bath time as they can have a drying effect on your skin. Also, don’t forget to use sunscreen when you go out even if it is not hot outside.
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