Why Am I Congested?

November 10, 2023

During the cooler months of fall and winter, illnesses tend to become more common and more severe. However, many illnesses have similar early symptoms, making it difficult to understand whether you are suffering from a serious illness or just a common cold. Early diagnosis is the key to a quick recovery. Learn about early illness symptoms such as congestion to ensure you can get medical treatment when necessary.

Common Fall Illnesses to Watch Out For

Fall illnesses that you may be familiar with include the common cold, the flu, COVID-19, and Norovirus (the stomach bug). All of these common illnesses actually share one trait - they are caused by viruses. Viral infections incredibly contagious both through directly contact and airborne transmission, meaning that they are very common illnesses.

Anyone can contract a virus, so it is important to stay ahead of the curve of fall illnesses by taking appropriate preventative measures where possible. Every illness has its own unique symptoms and traits, however, many viral infections begin with common symptoms such as a cough, congestion, and fatigue. Because of this, it can be difficult to tell exactly which virus you have. Luckily, viral infections rarely require medical treatment and often resolve on their own within 1-2 weeks.

Why Do We Get Sick More Often When Its Cold Out

Have you ever wondered why fall and winter tend to be associated with increased cases of illness? Is it because there are simply more diseases in the air during certain months? There are a few reasons why the colder winter months are a time when we see more illnesses emerge.

More Time is Spent Indoors: Due to the colder weather, we spend more time indoors. This can expose us to more viruses and bacteria through touching common surfaces and breathing in airborne germs.

Cold weather impacts your immune response: Exposure to cold temperatures can cause congestion. This can cause your body to be less effective at filtering out germs that lead to infections.

Change in Lifestyle Habits: Colder months mean that there is less light which leads to lower vitamin D levels. It also often means that you are less likely to exercise and generally are less active which can negatively affect your immunity.

How to Avoid Getting Sick This Fall

Viruses are very contagious during the fall and winter months due to a variety of factors, including the increased risk of exposure associated with indoor activities. Sometimes, it is impossible to avoid getting sick. However, there are preventative measures that you can take to protect yourself from illness during the fall.

Getting vaccinated for common illnesses such as the flu can greatly decrease your risk of developing severe symptoms. Following basic hygiene protocols such as proper handwashing and disinfecting surfaces often can also help reduce the risk of contracting a viral infection. If you are experiencing illness symptoms, stay home and isolate yourself from others so that you do not expose those around you to your illness.

Get Illness Diagnosis & Treatment on a Walk-In Basis at AFC Urgent Care Bedford

If you are experiencing illness symptoms such as congestion, coughing, sneezing or fatigue, you could have a viral infection. AFC Urgent Care Bedford is here to help provide accurate illness diagnosis so that you can get on the road to recovery. Our board-certified medical providers are available 7 days a week to perform diagnositic testing for illness symptoms. Simply walk into our clinic, or schedule an appointment online.

You can relax knowing that AFC Urgent Care is available to diagnose your illness and begin treatment before symptoms become severe. We accept most medical insurance plans, and offer low-cost care for patients paying out of pocket for their care. Walk in today. For additional questions regarding our clinic, please contact us directly.

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