Ashford Clinic Blog
Common ENT Issues in the Fall
There is a lot to like about autumn. The cooler weather, changing leaves, and many holidays make it a particularly fun and festive time of year. However, the change in the weather can also mean new challenges and illnesses for your ears, nose and throat. While many of these issues are more prevalent for children, there are plenty of ENT problems to go around for every age group. Here are some of the things to look out for during the fall:
The Common Cold
There are over 1 billion colds reported in the US every year, with peak activity occurring in the rainy, colder months. Some studies even suggest that the average child will get eight to ten colds per year, primarily from September to March.
Viral Upper Respiratory Infections
These infections are spread through coughs, sneezes and even general talking, which can seem quite overwhelming if you consider every single interaction you have with various people throughout the day. Children at a school or day care environment are at an even higher risk as they are exposed to the exchange of these viruses every day.
While this is mainly a concern for younger children, the increased occurrence of otitis media (the most common form of ear infection) in the colder months is something everyone should be mindful of if you are a parent or work in an environment where children are present. In fact, children in day care environments, which are a necessity for millions of families, are expected to have between three and ten ear infections every year.
What Can Be Done?
While there is no way to guarantee that you or your child will never get sick during Autumn and the colder months, there are certainly some common-sense prevention tactics that can help in keeping everyone healthy. The most obvious method is making sure you and your children wash hands before eating, after using the restroom, and after coming in contact with someone who seems sick. Other general wellness approaches like proper diet and exercise, as well as staying hydrated, can also help to give your immune system a fighting chance this fall.
It’s not all bad news, as there are also studies that suggest exposure to some of these germs, particularly among children in daycare, actually improves the immune system. If you or your child is experiencing fever or symptoms associated with the above illnesses, consult your doctor immediately.