If you have a long term health condition, the cold and damp weather – ice, snow and cold winds – can be bad for you. It can make you more vulnerable to winter illnesses, such as coughs and colds, which could become very serious. However, there are things you can do.
Seek expert advice
Always seek advice from your pharmacist at the first sign of a cough or a cold, before it gets more serious.
Buy over-the-counter medicines
Many over-the-counter medicines (including paracetamol and ibroprufen) are available to relieve symptoms of common winter ailments such as colds, sore throat, coughs, sinusitis or painful middle ear infection (earache).
Get your flu jab
You are eligible for the free flu vaccination if you have the following conditions:
Keep yourself warm
Your home should be at least 18C (65F). Take advantage of financial schemes and discounts to help you pay for heating. See Keep Warm, Keep Well for details and visit Go Energy Shopping, the Ofgem website, to find the best deal for your gas and electricity.
Mark, 46, has interstitial lung disease and polymyositis
From keeping your house warm, to protecting yourself from common ailments, find out how to stay healthy this winter on NHS Choices.