Brave the Cold: How to Get Through the Winter

The winter solstice ushers in a dark, cold stretch for most of us that can be unpleasant or even downright miserable. The cold, dry air of winter often is accompanied by snow, sleet, or freezing rain as well as bringing on physical maladies like colds, dry skin, and sore throats. Finding relief or methods to overcome some of these discomforts can help us survive these short days until spring brings more sunshine and warmth.

Brave the Cold: How to Get Through the Winter

Warm Mobility Aids

Many times in order to stay warm we can move around to fight off the chill, but what about those who have mobility issues and require a wheelchair to get around? They obviously can’t exert themselves to get warmer so we need to look elsewhere for relief. Being able to protect yourself from the elements can be uncomfortable or even difficult when using a wheelchair to get about. One simple method to overcome this problem is with a wheelchair poncho. It gives the user the ability to be covered and comfortable. You can opt for the winter poncho or the rain poncho depending on your own personal preference. Both cover the user and the wheelchair and are easy to put on and use. Another option available to you is a simple, portable fleece blanket. Simply snug around the user and enjoy the warmth!! One option for those that are wheelchair-bound is a lap blanket with hand warmer. These are designed specifically for those seated in a wheelchair to keep hands and feet toasty warm. Another blanket route is the use of a ceramic fiber blanket. Designed to regulate body temperature, it can increase blood circulation which in turn can help our extremities stay warm. Overcoming the harsh, cold temperatures of winter has never been easier!!

Rain Poncho

Moisture Is Your Friend

Winter weather brings cold air that is devoid of moisture. Not only can this dry out your skin, but it can also dry out our throat and respiratory system. Who hasn’t suffered from a dry, scratchy sore throat? If mother nature feels the need to remove the moisture from our air, it is up to us to put it back. That sounds easy, but how do we achieve this? The simple use of a humidifier can add soothing moisture to the air around us, especially while we sleep. While they all basically do the same thing, there are some options that may be more enticing to you. These options include a cool mist humidifier, an ultrasonic humidifier, and even a pediatric humidifier. Choose which option fits you best!! A steam inhaler can also introduce warm moist air into our throat and lungs to ease discomfort. A ceramic heater can be paired in the same room as a humidifier to create a comfortable, warmer environment. Cold winter air can affect those with allergies more so than others. To combat the negative effects that cold air can have on those with respiratory allergies, the use of a cold weather mask can be beneficial. Made of arctic fleece, these masks warm the air that is inhaled while still filtering particles out of the air. For those that use CPAP machines, you can also enjoy the soothing benefits of moisture while safely continuing your CPAP therapy. A heated humidifier can easily be added to your CPAP machine to deliver warm, moist air during sleep time, therefore minimizing any irritation due to cold, dry air.


Tackling Cold Symptoms

Even if you take all the precautions you can, sometimes that dreaded cold is inevitable (especially if there are small children in the house). Being able to make symptoms of the common cold lesser can make the duration of your cold more bearable. Runny noses, congested sinuses, and sore throats are common symptoms of a cold. Since there is no cure for the common cold, treating the symptoms can help you feel better and more importantly get some sleep. The most common method for dealing with cold symptoms is a cold and cough syrup. Many of these cold remedies are effective in breaking up mucus and suppressing that bothersome cough that keeps you up at night. Incorporating a cough lozenge can help soothe a scratchy throat and minimize that scratchy tickle that causes us to cough, at times uncontrollably. There has been some research done on the effects of zinc on cold symptoms and zinc cold relief lozenges may shorten the duration of your cold. Use all the tools in your arsenal!!

Cold and Cough Syrup

Not only are winter months darker and colder, they can become an even more formidable foe for those that are affected by winter in a greater manner. Limited mobility and respiratory ailments are just a couple of issues that need special attention during the cold, long nights of winter. Surviving until the warm days of spring may require a little help. Bundle up and stay warm!!

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About Kevin Cleary

Hi there, my name is Kevin Cleary. I was born in Westchester County in 1966 on December 3. I lived there until 1973 when my family moved. I graduated from high school in 1984 and then attended college in New Jersey, where I graduated with a marketing degree in 1988. Upon graduating, I worked with Enterprise Rent a Car doing sales for two years after which I joined the New York Telephone Company as a field technician. Growing up and through adulthood I was very active in many different sports including football, soccer, softball, and ice hockey amongst others. In 1995 I married my long time girlfriend Robin and in 1996 we moved to Connecticut. In 2000 we welcomed a son into the world. He has grown up to be a great kid!! In April 2006 I was injured jumping on a trampoline with my son and injured my neck to the point where I am a quadriplegic. Things changed rather rapidly after that and I was forced to learn things about the medical product field that I would otherwise not have known. After several years of therapy I have been able to determine which medical accessories are effective for my condition such as wheelchairs, standing frames, neuromuscular stimulators, as well as other rehab/therapy items. I have worked with doctors, therapists, and other patients to determine what will be right for me. While working with my therapists, we sometimes would design something while thinking outside of the box to make something work. Some of this work that I have done have been utilized for patients other than me. This hands-on insight has helped me with research that I have done for HPFY. Although my condition limits me, I try to get out as often as I can. I enjoy sampling cuisines from different countries not to mention a good glass of single malt scotch!! I try to keep up with the sports that I used to follow even though I can’t participate in them. I still enjoy listening to music from around the world and a good comedy always makes me laugh. I like to think that I am technologically competent, since my job with the phone company was technically based (working with multiplexers, digital systems, and computers).

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