Why Seesaw Weather Makes You Sick
It has long been considered a fact, if an anecdotal one, that rapid fluctuations in temperature can lead to rhinitis and other respiratory symptoms. The reasoning behind this notion is pretty sound: Our mucosa are highly sensitive tissues, tuned precisely to maintain the proper warmth and humidity for their environments. Change that environment quickly and you have a recipe for mucosal confusion, and possibly breakdown. The result is runny noses, allergy flare-ups and a spike in seasonal norovirus.
Doctors in India reported recently that they witnessed just such a spike, giving still more credence to this popular idea. As temperatures in Mumbai rapidly dropped, one hospital saw a 30% increase in patients reporting respiratory issues. Here in California, a similar cold snap has without question brought an unusually high number of patients into my clinic at the Los Angeles Sinus Institute, most complaining of flu-like symptoms and sinus pain.
At least one physician explained the phenomenon in terms of specific particles:
“Till three days ago, the temperatures were high. Since then, the mercury has been dipping. There is also a blanket of haze and smog in the city, particularly in the morning. Because of fog, smoke and particles get trapped at the ground level. This creates smog, which, when inhaled, causes breathing problems,” said a doctor from KEM Hospital’s medicine department.
Dr. Barmare said certain groups of people are more at risk than others.
“Those who are old, or have underlying tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, bronchial asthma, or allergic rhinitis are the ones who need to be careful,” he said.
Have you experienced a sudden onset of respiratory distress as this cold front has settled over LA? Contact my sinus offices here to get checked out by a sinusitis professional today.