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We’ve witnessed some concerning weather hazards racing over the nation this spring. Severe storms, blizzards, tornadoes, and fires seem to be causing more damage with each passing year. The people of the affected countries find themselves in distress as well. Extreme weather changes have an impact on both our physical and mental health. Keep on reading to learn more about how weather can affect your health and how to deal with the consequences.
Ways in Which Weather Changes Can Affect Your Physical Health
As barometric pressure plummeted to its lowest point, blizzards, tremendous wind gusts, and severe storms caused a lot of knee discomfort. Yes, active weather patterns affect our bodies, including joint pain and migraines. Moreover, they can even cause labor induction when the pressure decreases. The Health King is here to brief you on how weather can affect your health and everything else you need to know.
Most people are familiar with joint pain as the most common effect of the weather on their bodies. Our joints are filled with fluid, which allows the bones to glide over each other without rubbing against each other, preventing injury. Changes in atmospheric pressure or a sudden weather change can affect this fluid. Your joints should have a higher air pressure level. Joint fluids and surrounding tissues expand when the air pressure is lower than outside the joint, resulting in persistent aches and pains.
In chilly temperatures, the fluid in your joints thickens, and the tissues around them constrict, making your joints feel stiffer. This aggravates your suffering amid a winter storm with low pressure. If you have arthritis or other joint ailments, you are more vulnerable to its effects. The elderly that suffer from these conditions are often advised to move to a warmer location or take a vacation. So, consider making this change because the benefits of moving to a different climate are significant.
It’s difficult to say how the weather affects headaches because the factors that set off each individual attack vary from person to person. For some people, a storm system could keep them awake for a day or more because of their sensitivity to weather changes. In contrast, some people can withstand even the harshest weather changes without even feeling a twinge. According to the American Migraine Foundation’s research, this severe type of headache is linked to decreased atmospheric pressure and air temperature and an increase in relative humidity.
During the winter months, people spend more time inside and close to one another. Especially around Christmas when they’re shopping at the malls and around New Year’s Eve. This makes it easier for the flu, coughs, and colds to spread, which will weaken your immune system. And this is why flu shots exist. Get a flu vaccine and wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer to avoid germs.
How Weather Can Affect Your Mental Health
Despite the widespread belief that warmer weather and more sunny days are better for us, colder weather has been proven to be easier on your mental health. In the most recent studies, the evidence shows that cooler temperatures reduce adverse mental health outcomes, whereas hotter temperatures increase them. There was an increase in ER visits for mental illness and a rise in the number of suicides when the temperature rose. Warmer weather and high heat can cause people to be more aggressive and lash out at others and themselves. Statistics show that cities that see more sunlight and soaring heat tend to have much higher crime rates than those located in colder areas. It’s also much less likely to see a shooting occur in the winter than in the summer.
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) arises as the days become shorter and the light gets dimmer. The disorder is most frequent in the winter. It’s often linked to a reduction in daylight hours. However, we can’t confirm the exact cause. But even though it is more prevalent in autumn and winter, the colder weather is not to blame. According to the Cleveland Clinic, around 80% of SAD patients are female.
SAD symptoms often appear in childhood or early adulthood. It interrupts your sleep and makes you feel depressed. When the weather is colder, it’s referred to as “the winter blues.” Being cooped up indoors or unhappy due to a lack of outside activities might result in Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). We don’t know what causes it, although biological variables such as circadian rhythm disturbance, excess melatonin synthesis, and low serotonin levels may play a role (the “feel-good” neurotransmitter).
The good news is that treatments are widely accessible. Among the therapies are the following:
- light therapy
- vitamin D supplements
If you feel that you may have been affected by SAD, there are other ways to boost your mental health, which do not include supplements or prescribed medication. You’ll benefit greatly if you implement only a few lifestyle adjustments.
Dealing with the Impacts of Weather and Climate Change
The new term “eco-anxiety” has entered the lexicon as people deal with the mental health consequences of rapid weather and climate change. Persistent fear of environmental catastrophe may harm those already vulnerable, as shown by two studies on children and young people. This is why we must understand how weather can affect your health and how to deal with the effects. But it’s essential to keep in mind that people often come together to help one another in the wake of a natural disaster, as evidenced by the devastation caused by fires and other natural disasters in the United States and around the world. Many initiatives that have already been put in place by the United Nations are starting to give us more hope.