If you suffer from asthma, allergies, or headaches, then you’ll be all too familiar with the seasonal changes our bodies go through as the weather changes. Almost everyone feels the difference, whether it’s in their mood or physical wellbeing. Some changes are irritating, while others can be dangerous, but either way here’s what really goes on when the weather is changing.
It’s all in your head
Weather changes have been pronounced the fourth biggest cause of migraines and severe headaches, with around 50% of regular sufferers saying that the weather made them worse. So, if you get frequent headaches, and the weather is set to change, grab a box of painkillers – you might be in for a rough ride.
Bad news for asthmatics
During seasonal changes, asthmatics often experience much-worsened symptoms. Many people also get what is known as ‘thunderstorm asthma.’ This is exactly what it sounds like. During storms, asthmatics have heightened trouble breathing, due to the pollen carried around by the wind.
We’re not talking about watching a sad movie; we’re talking about the increased blood pressure and heart rate that the weather can cause. This one can be fatal if not monitored correctly, and, of course, certain people are much more at risk. When the weather worsens, our hearts have to work much harder to try and keep us warm. Some hearts may overwork or develop blood clots, which can put you at risk of a stroke or heart attack, so be sure to wrap up warm!
Mood changes with the weather
Seasonal affective disorder – aptly shortened to SAD – actually affects a huge range of people. Feeling gloomy over winter isn’t always a coincidence. People suffering from SAD often feel irritable, anxious, and exhausted over the colder months, while perking up when spring rolls around.
When winter arrives, and the weather takes a turn for the worst, we all know the drill. We’ll be sniffling and sneezing for weeks on end, and feel generally drained. Weather changes are commonly the cause of colds and flu, but this one is less to do with the weather, and inadvertently more to do with our choices. When its cold, we spend more time inside and in close proximity to others, which spreads illness much easier, leaving us with blocked noses and a cough for most of the winter.
The other way
Weather changes aren’t only detrimental when it gets cold, but also when it gets hotter, especially if it’s a particularly fast change. A common effect of a hot weather change is heatstroke. When the weather warms up, especially if we aren’t prepared for it, people often suffer from headaches and excessive sweating, which can be a very dangerous emergency, seeing as it means our body’s internal temperature has risen to an almost fatal high.
Some people love it when the weather changes, with some enjoying the change to winter, and others preferring it when summer starts creeping back in. No matter how we feel about the weather changing, however, we can’t deny the inevitable changes we experience year-on-year.