The Importance of Preventing Respiratory Diseases in Winter | Special Advertising Unimed Midwest of São Paulo

It is common to have an increase in the number of cases involving respiratory diseases in winter. After all, low temperatures cause a combination of habits that are susceptible to this situation, such as giving preference to closed environments – and without adequate air circulation – to keep warm, and not to dress properly.

The season, which will end only on September 22, issues an alert: taking care of your health is an act present in the small details. Therefore, the Ministry of Health listed the most frequent respiratory diseases, and their respective symptoms, which require more attention. Are they:

  • Asthma: difficulty breathing, wheezing and tightness in the chest, and short, rapid breathing
  • Pneumonia: high fever, cough, chest pain, changes in blood pressure and mucus secretion
  • Sinusitis: headache, runny nose, fever, chills and feeling unwell

In addition, colds and flu usually appear at this time of year, and with the Covid-19 pandemic, it is likely that many individuals confuse the symptoms of the three diseases. Thus, Mauricio Galhardo, a pulmonologist, clarifies the differences between them.

As the three illnesses show very similar signs, doubts may arise.  Video: Personal archive

As the three illnesses show very similar signs, doubts may arise. Video: Personal archive

The methods of prevention must be fresh in society’s mind so that there is a reduction in the emergence and worsening of certain cases, especially in the three coldest months of the year. The most accurate diagnosis will always be made by a specialist doctor, who will know how to treat the patient, prescribe medication and order tests correctly and assertively.

Professional emphasizes that self-medication is not the best option and that getting vaccinated against the Influenza virus is effective.  Video: Personal archive

Professional emphasizes that self-medication is not the best option and that getting vaccinated against the Influenza virus is effective. Video: Personal archive

Smoking: practice negatively impacts quality of life

Despite the winter, it is possible to suffer from respiratory diseases in other ways. And one of them is smoking through traditional and electronic cigarettes, hookahs, pipes and cigars. The concern with this aspect is such that on August 29, the National Anti-Smoking Day is celebrated.

The date aims to reinforce national actions to raise awareness and mobilize the population about the social, political, economic and environmental damage caused by tobacco. Created in 1986 by Federal Law 7,488, this movement inaugurates the regulation aimed at tobacco control as a public health problem.

Regular smoking brings several damages to health. — Photo: Carolina Cres/Unimed COP

Considering that more than 50 tobacco-related diseases kill 5 million people a year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 200,000 of which are Brazilian, measures that promote access to information about the negative consequences of this habit are extremely positive and have had an effect, so much so that the rates of the number of adult smokers in the country are encouraging.

Comparing the National Health and Nutrition Survey (1989) with the National Health Survey (2019), it appears that the percentage of smoking among those over 18 years of age dropped from 34.8% to 12.6%. Some of the likely reasons for this are specific taxes, price increases, pictures of warnings on packaging and the creation of municipal and state laws on the free environment.

When stopping smoking, the human being shows improvements in the body’s functioning gradually, according to the National Cancer Institute (INCA):

  • after 20 minutes, blood pressure and pulse return to normal
  • after 2 hours, there is no more nicotine circulating in the blood
  • after 8 hours, the blood oxygen level normalizes
  • After 12 to 24 hours, the lungs already work better
  • after 2 days, the smell already perceives the smells and the palate already tastes the food better
  • after 3 weeks, breathing becomes easier and circulation improves
  • After 1 year, the risk of death from myocardial infarction is reduced by half
  • after 10 years, the risk of suffering a heart attack will be the same as for people who have never smoked

The sooner you end the addiction, the lesser the risk of getting sick. Therefore, if the individual intends to end the practice, it is recommended to seek medical assistance so that all steps are taken with caution. Put out your cigarette and give life a chance!

Doctor responsible:
Mauricio Longo Galhardo – CRM 97071 – RQE 28671
Author: Amanda Medeiros
Source: Unimed Midwest of São Paulo