Big temperature swings don't make you sick

Updated: Jan. 9, 2017 at 8:22 PM CST
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We got hit hard with an Arctic blast over the weekend.

Temperatures tumbled into the teens Sunday morning. Not only was the air very cold, it also was very dry.

Dew point temperatures were in the teens for most of the weekend. Keep in mind, we don't really start to feel the humidity until our dew point temperatures get above 60 degrees. The higher the dew point temperature, the more moisture is in the air.

Julie Crafton, a nurse practitioner with Bossier Family Medicine, said the dry, cold air can cause problems for patients. It can lead to nose bleeds and dry skin.

To make matters worse, you are drying out the air every time you crank up in the heat in your home.

Crafton suggests using a humidifier in your home and avoid taking hot showers.

The Arctic air didn't stick around long.

Afternoon highs by Wednesday and Thursday should be in the 70s.

Many people believe big swings in temperatures like this can make them sick. However, Crafton said, there is no data to back that up.

"This tends to be the time of year when the flu season hits. People get colds," she said. "You can see some allergies when temperatures swing the other way. When it's in the 70s for a few days, things start to bloom."

Even though allergies tend to be less severe in January, people still can suffer from them.

The allergy forecast shows medium to high pollen counts Wednesday and Thursday.

"Allergies tend to cause more head congestion, sneezing, itchy and watery eyes and no fever," Crafton said. "You tend to feel okay, you're just a little miserable."

You'll still have sneezing and congestion with the common cold, but you'll usually feel much worse and your drainage won't be clear.

So the next time you get sick, you can't blame the weather.

It's either a cold or allergies.

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