Stay well this winter
Winter is a time when we are more likely to suffer from cold, coughs and flu. Some health problems, such as asthma, sore throat and cold sores are triggered or worsened by cold weather. Heart attacks are also more common in winter; this may be because cold snaps increase blood pressure and put more strain on our heart. The heart also has to work harder to keep us warm. So it's important to take extra care of yourself during the winter months.
You can help yourself stay healthy by following these top tips for ten winter illnesses.
Many symptoms can be treated at home without the need to see a GP. You can self-care by keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet with remedies for the most common winter ailments. Ask your local pharmacist for advice on over the counter medicines and how to look after yourself at home. Keep yourself well by eating a healthy diet, taking regular exercise, doing things you enjoy like visiting friends and family and making sure you get enough sleep.
If you're living with a long-term condition Your Health, Your Way has advice on self care and taking control of your health. Self-care doesn't mean you get less help from your doctor. The healthcare team is still there to support you. What and how much support you need will be discussed with you and written in your care plan.
If any of your symptoms persist, make an appointment to see your GP. You can also call 111 for medical help and advice about the best health service for your needs. Calls are answered by a team of highly trained advisors, supported by experienced nurses. NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day, every day of the year and all calls are free.
Keep Warm Stay Well
Keeping warm is an important part of staying well over winter. Older people and those with serious illnesses and disabilities are particularly at risk from cold weather. Keep Warm Stay Well is a scheme that supports vulnerable residents who are struggling with the cold or with paying their fuel bills. If you are struggling to stay warm in your home this winter, or you are worried about a friend, neighbour or relative who might be at risk, please contact HertsHelp on 0300 123 4044 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Their office hours are 8 am – 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Look out for each other
Many people, particularly the elderly, are more at risk during cold spells. Last winter, about 31,000 people in England died as a result of cold weather. Most of these people were over 75 and many of these deaths could have been avoided. Age UK has guide to help look out for an older friend or neighbour this winter.