Winter tips from an ENT doctor

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Winter tips from an otolaryngologist: keep warm if you are susceptible to infections / do not take nasal spray for longer than a week / dizziness training reduces the risk of falls

Winter poses many dangers. Many are not only troubled by annoying colds or dry mucous membranes. The fear of falls increases, especially with older people, with falling temperatures. About one in ten complains of dizziness today, most of them are over 60 years old. Especially in winter, they cannot enjoy walks on Advent Sundays, but mostly only see treacherous ice and ominous smoothness. Dr. knows the best winter tips for dizziness, but also for colds. Uso Walter, ENT doctor from Duisburg and chairman of the HNOnet-NRW:

Tip: Drink a lot when you have a cold Contrary to popular belief, people don't get colds from cold, but from viruses and bacteria. Cold fingers, toes, nose and ears favor colds and the like because they weaken the immune system and pathogens penetrate the body more easily. Above all, the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract are a preferred entry point. To prevent them from drying out or cooling in winter and not working properly, it is important to drink a lot and to ensure sufficient humidity, e.g. by bowls with water or wet towels on the heaters. Warming clothes also help to prevent hypothermia. Exercise, a healthy diet and immunostimulants or vitamins also strengthen the immune system. Do not consume immune-boosting substances excessively.

Tip: fed up? Using nasal sprays If bacteria still infect the body, nasal sprays from salt water provide relief. They moisturize the mucous membranes and are used to clean and gently rinse the nasal passages of dry, irritated and blocked noses. Nasal douches also loosen tough mucus and clean the nasal cavities. They also soothe nasal mucous membranes and improve their functionality. Decongestant nasal sprays can also be helpful in the case of an acute infection, so that the sinuses and middle ears remain ventilated. However, the following applies here: Do not use decongestant nasal sprays and drops for longer than seven days, but consult a doctor if symptoms persist for longer.

Tip: Training for vertigo in winter People who suffer from vertigo are reluctant to go to the door in winter. The increased risk of falling due to slippery often scares those affected. If there are balance problems, fall prophylaxis training helps the ENT doctor. Everyone can support this with simple exercises at home. A distinction is made between gaze exercises, movement exercises and coordination exercises. Most ENT doctors provide exercise instructions for those affected in their practices. Those who practice such exercises three to five times a week regularly and in winter are more secure on their feet and less afraid of falling. If in doubt, proper footwear and walking aids are also important prophylaxis against falling. (pm)

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