If you tend to get the sniffles the second the seasons start to shift, you’re not alone. According to the experts, there’s research to explain why you always get sick at these turning points in the calendar, whether it’s summer to fall (which just so happens to be when the most people come down with a cold!) or winter into spring.
So, check out the following science-backed reasons why you might feel particularly under the weather as spring as arrives (…any day now). And hey, maybe you’ll be able to make some lifestyle adjustments to lower your likelihood of falling victim—and in the meantime, keeping this immune-system-boosting soup simmering on the back burner isn’t such a bad idea.
3 scientific reasons why you get sick when the seasons change.
1. You have seasonal allergies
Sorry, seasonal-allergy sufferers, but you probably get sick with the changing weather a little more often than others, simply because you’re more vulnerable. Bradley Chipps, MD and president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, told Time the nasal inflammation you already have from allergy-related irritation just makes it that much easier for other viruses to enter your body—and harder for your immune system to fight them off, since it’s already busy protecting you from hay fever.
2. Seasonal swings bring you down
If allergies aren’t a problem, swings in barometric pressure (AKA the air pressing down on your body), changes in temperature, and the wind, might be, Time reported. Together, they can really mess with your immune system and irritate your airways. This is especially true for chilly temps, as a Yale study noted the common cold thrives in, well, the cold.
3. You’re spending more time around other people
Once the weather gets nice, it seems like everyone starts spending more time out and about. And because plenty of people travel during spring break, it’s not uncommon to bring back viruses and spread them around. So if someone looks under the weather after their vacation is over, maybe steer clear until they feels up to speed again—even if they insist it’s just jet lag.
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