Live Strong In The Harmattan And Winter Season
This is a season that we have a fug atmosphere with dry and very cold air. Equipments in and outside the house become dusty every time, forcing you to clean severally, increase in the number of people with common cold, cough and catarrh. Tropical regions of the world like some countries in Africa become extremely cold, Europe and America experience winter snows in full package at the same time of the year.
Facts about the harmattan period
- It’s a fact that there will always be a change in seasons. A change in season to harmattan and winter is good for a balance in the eco system.
- It brings a lot of health challenges ranging from cold, cough, catarrh, hypothermia, laryngitis and other respiratory infections.
- Harmattan can cause heat exhaustion and other sicknesses resulting from loss of fluid in the body system.
- It can affect your daily activities and end up reducing your productivity at work.
- There is a need to have a strong immune system to be able to cope well at this period of the year.
- It will and must come every time of the year, so we can’t avoid it. All we need to do is to prepare and overcome the challengers that it brings.
The health challenges in harmattan
The major challenges in harmattan are cause by a weak immune system which leads to inability to cope with allergies. Therefore these allergies make life unbearable for the patient especially asthmatics. When you develop common cold caused by the virus called influenza, it further leads to production of mucus in the respiratory tract which can cause cough, block the respiratory air ways in an asthmatic patient, also block the ear, fever and development of other bacterial infections.
Harmattan can also cause depression in patients with seasonal type of depression. It is accompanied by loss of interest in food, work and social interaction.
The 7 Ways to cope in harmattan or winter
- Avoid alcohol this time. That warm feeling you get from that rum is heat rushing through your expanded blood vessels. That actually increases heat loss, putting you more at risk
- Engage in activities. The increased activity will warm you up and also ease up depressive mood.
- Always find a shelter. If you must go outside, stay out of the wind as much as possible, even if it’s huddling in a ditch or staying in your car, especially if you notice you come down with cold, cough and catarrh easily or you are asthmatic.
- Learn the signs of hypothermia. If your body temperature begins to fall, you run the risk of hypothermia. Watch for drowsiness, unclear thinking, or problems with movement or coordination.
- Cover up as you can. If your extremities, nose, chin, ears or cheeks lose feeling and colour, you’re at risk of frostbite, which can occur in just a few minutes in temperatures colder than -30o Make use of synthetic and wool fabricsbecause they provide better insulation. Some synthetic fabrics are designed to keep perspiration away from your body which keep you dry and further reduce your risk. Dress in layers with a wind resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm (before you start sweating) or add a layer if you get cold. Wear warm socks, gloves, a hat and scarf in cold weather. Be sure to cover your nose to protect it.
- Walk with a doctor or pharmacist early, to help treat your cold, cough and respiratory infections.
- Take enough water and fruits that can boost your immune system.
Complete guide to coping with bitter cold temperature: Daniel Martins.