Special Report

Health Problems That Are More Common in the Fall and Winter

Source: Ridofranz / Getty Images


Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi — the larger, upper air passages to the lungs — which causes excessive production of mucus. Bronchitis is a winter hazard because it is usually brought on by a cold or flu, with symptoms similar to the flu but distinguished by wheezing, troubled breathing, and coughing, which can continue for weeks after the disease has run its two-week course. Unlike acute bronchitis, some 9 million Americans have chronic bronchitis — defined as having mucus-producing cough for at least three months of the year for two years in a row.

Source: 1BSG / Getty Images


Most common in infants and children, bronchiolitis differs from bronchitis in that it affects the smallest airways in the lungs, called bronchioles, though the symptoms are similar, particularly the difficulty breathing. Bronchiolitis is usually caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), which like cold and flu viruses, circulates more easily in the winter. Bronchioloitis can be dangerous for young children, with newborns the most vulnerable because of their underdeveloped lungs and immune systems.

Source: Cunaplus_M.Faba / Getty Images

Dry skin

Winter’s low humidity can make skin dry and itchy, and the long, hot showers that relieve the chill of winter cold only make dry skin problems worse. Though dry skin is a relatively mild irritant, it can cause painful cracking or lead to dermatitis, eczema, or infection.

Source: natalie_board / Getty Images

Dry mucous membranes

The sinuses — hollow cavities in the skull — suffer when mucus membranes dry out in the winter, sometimes causing sinus discomfort, dry mouth, sore throat, headache, and nosebleeds. Allergies, triggered by irritants found indoors like mold, can make symptoms worse by inflaming dry membranes and causing mucus to become thick and sticky.

Source: mixetto / Getty Images

Sinus infection

People suffering from a cold, seasonal allergies, or a weakened immune system, are candidates for sinus infection. Sinuses become infected when fluids build up, allowing viruses or bacteria to grow. These infections can cause headaches, stuffy or runny nose, post-nasal drip, coughing, and bad breath.

Sponsored: Tips for Investing

A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.

Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.