Spring Health Concerns
Ahhhh, spring! I love all of the different seasons, each one provides something new to explore, new adventures to embark on, new things to learn and see, but there is something about spring that brings about a freshness, a lifting of the mind and spirit, an awakening of all that is within us. I love waking up, stepping outside on a sunny spring morning and just taking a deep breath of the beautiful fresh air, listening to the birds chirp and watching the squirrels scamper about from tree to tree. If I could freeze frame that moment and take it with me throughout the day – the peace, brightness, feelings of happiness, the perfection of that moment – well, life would be perfect I guess. Life is good, but it is not perfect, and along with spring and warmer weather comes a number of health concerns.
I’ve spent the last several blog posts going over a number of chronic health concerns that affect many people, whether personally or through a loved one, and I thought it would be beneficial to look at some acute issues that lend themselves more to certain times or climates each year rather than genetics or lifestyle choices per say.
The first one I thought I’d look into is insect bites – oh, how I despise those nasty nuisances. If there is a mosquito within a 50 mile radius, it will find me, zero in and attack with a vengeance – I’m pretty sure there is a mosquito club somewhere near my home where they gather and plan their next visit and attack agenda while exchanging stories of previous victories with much pride!
Insect bites are generally harmless but usually do cause some discomfort – unless you’re like me and have developed a drama based aversion to them. Bee, hornet and wasp, and fire ant bites usually hurt; mosquito, flea, and mite bites usually itch. Insects can also spread disease. Mosquitoes can spread West Nile Virus, while travelers outside the U.S. may be at risk for malaria and other infections.
Prevention is the best cure. To prevent insect bites:
- Don’t bother insects
- Use insect repellant
- Wear protective clothing
- Be careful when you eat outside because food attracts insects
- If you know you have severe allergic reactions to insect bites, carry an emergency epinephrine kit
If you do get bit, you can apply an over the counter corticosteroid or calamine cream or lotion to the site to reduce itching and take acetaminophen for pain. Be careful not to scratch it open, as this can allow bacteria to enter into the wound causing infection. If you should suspect an infection has begun, contact your physician promptly for further care instructions.
Enjoy this new season, and I hope the mosquitoes and other insects stay away from you this year.
To your good health,