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Impact on our health: what is weather sensitivity?
A change in the weather affects the well-being of many people. Some then complain of pain or sensitive scars, others have problems with the circulation. Although the phenomenon is sometimes classified in the area of medical myths, according to health experts, weather sensitivity actually exists.
Influence of the weather on the body
Many people are familiar with this: When the weather changes, circulatory problems arise and old scars can also suddenly become painful. In humid weather and a blow dryer, the head buzzes and the mood deteriorates. Are you just imagining it all? Or what influence does the weather really have on our body and what is weather sensitivity anyway?
Not an independent disease
"The term weather sensitivity means the phenomenon that some people are increasingly subjectively aware of their own body reaction to the weather," writes the German Weather Service (DWD) on its website.
Accordingly, these people have an increased responsiveness or a reduced stimulus threshold of their vegetative nervous system. "However, sensitivity to the weather is not an independent disease such as Migraines, ”said the experts.
However, certain weather conditions aggravate symptoms such as the tendency to headaches in some people. In addition - especially when there are strong changes in the weather - problems with concentration, sleep problems. Fatigue and joint or scar pain observed.
Stronger influences during violent weather changes
The phenomenon has also been studied in various scientific studies. British researchers found that bad weather can affect pain.
Austrian experts also reported that about every second rheumatic sufferers from the weather.
According to surveys, weather complaints are more likely to occur in women.
In general, according to experts, the strongest weather influences on health can be determined when there are strong weather changes.
In addition, a person's reaction to the weather depends largely on individual requirements such as general health, but also other stresses such as lack of sleep or stress.
Effects on blood pressure
The DWD explains an example of the interaction between weather and the human organism on its website:
“Cooler air is usually brought in behind a cold front so that the body tries to reduce the amount of heat that it emits. Among other things, the outer blood vessels are narrowed and the blood pressure rises briefly. "
These changes are usually very small, but those who already have high blood pressure can feel such variations.
Conversely, sudden warmth causes problems for people with low blood pressure: in order for the body to cool, it widens the blood vessels, but this causes the blood pressure to drop even further.
So-called weather sensitivity has an even stronger effect than weather sensitivity. "Older or chronically ill people can not only be sensitive to the weather, but also really sensitive to the weather, which can then have disease values and dangerous effects," writes the DWD.
"Especially when there are strong heat waves, people die for whom the cardiovascular system was overwhelmed," it continues.
What to do about weather sensitivity
But there are also a number of things that people can do about weather sensitivity. For example, experts recommend going out in cold, wind and rain to train the organism so that it learns to adapt better to different weather conditions.
Kneipp treatments, alternating showers, visits to the sauna, a regular rhythm of sleep and a balanced diet are just as beneficial.
People who are sensitive to the weather due to stress may be able to calm down with relaxation exercises such as yoga.
And if you then have a positive outlook on life, you can brave your own sensitivity to the weather just like the catchy tune "I'm singing in the rain".
However, chronically ill and elderly patients should be more careful and, to be on the safe side, ask their doctor which methods are best for them. This also applies to weather-sensitive people. (ad)