Pulmonologist Susana Azcona advises: “It is very important to get a flu shot at the beginning of the year and to practice good hygiene”

Pulmonologist Susana Azcona comments on the risks to our health from sudden changes in temperature. When the airways become inflamed from the cold, viruses already in the environment may find an easier route. In this sense, he emphasized the importance of preventive measures such as vaccination and good hygiene. In addition, eating a balanced diet and getting enough rest can also strengthen our immune system.

What are the risks of sudden temperature changes and how should we take care of ourselves?

Susana Azcona: The risk of infection is greater when the temperature changes suddenly. We are exposed to many respiratory viruses this time of year and these sudden changes can exacerbate chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, allergic rhinitis or COPD. For example, sudden heat and cold can make these problems worse.

Are the viruses mostly associated with the cold or are they already in the environment, waiting for the right moment?

SA: The virus already exists. However, sudden changes can affect the airways by cooling the air we breathe. The sudden cold inflames the airways and weakens natural defenses, such as cilia and the cells that line them.

You may be interested to read: School Hospital Health Advice for Sudden Temperature Changes: Seek medical attention and get vaccinated against respiratory diseases

How exactly does cold air affect our airways?

SA: Cold air inflames the airways, which facilitates the entry of normally circulating viruses. This may cause illness or worsen symptoms. For example, in people with asthma, a sudden cold can make the condition worse. When going out, consider the ambient temperature and cover your body properly.

In this case, how can masks help us?

SA: Wearing a mask, especially when it’s cold, warms the air we breathe and also keeps dust and allergens from entering our airways. If someone is sick and goes to a crowded place, wearing a mask can prevent the spread of the virus and prevent other infections.

What other measures would you suggest to protect us from sudden temperature changes?

SA: First of all, it is very important to get the flu vaccine at the beginning of the year (March-April). It is also important to practice good hygiene, wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizer. If you cough, you must use disposable tissues and keep the space well-ventilated.

Besides preventive measures, what other factors affect our resistance and vulnerability to these situations?

SA: Of course, a varied and vitamin-rich diet is important, as is adequate fluid intake. Avoidance of tobacco and secondhand smoke is also critical for respiratory health. Additionally, taking care of your environment and making sure you get enough rest is crucial to maintaining a strong immune system and overall health.

Prevent Respiratory Diseases

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