Winter weather can be seriously bad for our health. Being cold can make existing conditions worse and raise the risk of increased blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes. However, there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter.
Always seek advice from your pharmacist at the first sign of a cough or a cold before it gets more serious.
For details of pharmacy opening times click here.
For opening times of other health and social care services, see our Stockport People magazine below.
Flu is a highly infectious illness that spreads rapidly through the coughs and sneezes of people who are carrying the virus.
If you’re at risk of complications from flu, make sure you have your annual flu vaccine, available each year usually from October onwards.
See your GP about the flu jab if you’re 65 or over, or if you have any of the following problems (however old you are):
If you are pregnant your GP or midwife can also provide the flu jab free of charge. Catching flu in pregnancy can lead to complications that can cause serious illness for mum and baby.
All two- and three-year-olds are eligible for a free nasal spray flu vaccine from their GP. Children in reception class and school years one, two, three and four will be offered the nasal spray in school.
Watch the video at the link below for more advice on who is eligible for a free flu vaccination and why you should have it. This not only protects you, but others around you.
Many over-the-counter medicines (including paracetamol and ibuprofen) are available to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments such as colds, sore throat, cough, sinusitis or painful middle ear infection (earache).
Keeping warm, both inside and outdoors, over the winter months can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression. You should:
Keep your bedroom window closed on winter nights – breathing cold air can be bad for your health as it increases the risk of chest infections.
Make sure you’re receiving all the help you are entitled to. Learn how to make your home more energy efficient and take advantage of financial schemes to keep up with energy bills. See Keep Warm, Keep Well for details.
You can also check your heating and cooking appliances are safe and operating properly by contacting a Gas Safe registered engineer.
For more information on how to stay well this winter visit www.nhs.uk/staywell