Cold wave may raise health issues in elderly, children

New Delhi, Jan 13 (IANS) The rapid dip in the temperature to near-freezing levels is likely to increase the risk of brain stroke, migraine and joint aches and problems, especially in the elderly and children, experts have warned.

High blood pressure can raise by three fold the risk of brain strokes. The continuing intense cold wave can cause constriction in the arteries, which increases blood pressure levels — a major factor for stroke.

For people with arthritis, the cold-weather can increase neck pain, back ache, inflammation and other mobility issues.

“It is a complex interplay of several factors which makes winters all the more difficult for people with arthritic knees, shoulders, or hip joints,” said Raju Vaishya, Senior Consultant orthopaedic and joint replacement surgeon at Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.

Very low temperature conditions also increase the risk of “nerve pain, back pain, trigeminal neuralgia, muscle stiffness and loss of sensation in people with neurological conditions,” said Rahul Gupta, senior spine and neuro surgeon associated with Fortis HealthCare.

The condition of migraine in children also increases by 15 per cent to 20 per cent during winters.

In addition, children may be prone to viral infections and ear-nose-and throat (ENT) problems.

“Cold-stimulus headaches are more common than imagined, especially since children are less likely to protect extremities like the head and ears,” stated Sandeep Sindhu, senior ENT expert, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.

–IANS

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