The winter season is almost over in northern India and in another week, the mercury is expected to rise, causing a shift towards warmer temperatures and heralding the onset of spring. As environmental conditions change and our bodies adapt to the change, it is pertinent to protect ourselves from the health conditions that prevail during spring and summer. Pollen levels in the air are likely to increase in the spring season, which could act as a trigger for susceptible people to cause allergies, asthma attacks and other respiratory problems. Gut health issues are also common during climate transitions, as are depression and anxiety issues. As winter gradually gives way to the heat of summer, a change in environmental conditions occurs that can influence our health. (Also read: 10 gut-healthy foods to enjoy as you transition from winter to summer)
Dr Manjusha Agarwal, Senior Consultant Internal Medicine, Global Hospitals, Parel Mumbai, shares health issues to watch out for as winter turns into summer.
With the arrival of spring, pollen levels increase, causing allergies in susceptible people. Common symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, and itchy eyes. As flowers bloom and trees release pollen, people prone to hay fever or other allergies may experience an increase in their symptoms. It is essential to stay informed about local pollen forecasts, take preventive measures such as using air purifiers, and consider consulting with a healthcare professional for effective allergy management.
As temperatures rise, there is a greater risk of dehydration. Warmer weather, along with outdoor activities, can lead to increased fluid loss through sweat. It is essential to stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water throughout the day. Dehydration can manifest with symptoms such as dizziness, fatigue, and dark urine. Be mindful of fluid intake, especially during outdoor activities, and replenish electrolytes if you engage in strenuous exercise.
3. Sunburn and skin problems
The transition from winter to summer often means spending more time outdoors. While exposure to sunlight is essential for vitamin D production, excessive sun exposure can lead to sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer. It is important to use sunscreen with an appropriate SPF, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during peak sun hours. Also, keep an eye out for changes in moles or skin lesions and consult a dermatologist if any concerns arise.
4. Respiratory infections
Temperature fluctuations during the transition from winter to summer can create favorable conditions for respiratory infections. Viruses thrive in the changing climate and people may be more susceptible to colds or respiratory infections. Practicing good hygiene, such as washing your hands frequently, and avoiding close contact with sick people can help reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper nutrition and adequate sleep supports a strong immune system.
5. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
While it is often associated with winter, some people may experience a milder form of seasonal affective disorder during the transition to summer. Changes in daylight patterns and increased exposure to sunlight can affect mood and sleep patterns. People sensitive to these changes may notice alterations in their energy levels and general well-being. Engaging in outdoor activities, maintaining a regular sleep schedule, and seeking support from health professionals or counselors can help manage seasonal mood fluctuations.