SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – Living in the Upstate, we’re no strangers to frequent changes in the weather.

Those hot and cold swings change the pressure in the air. That’s called barometric pressure or atmospheric pressure and its changes can impact your health.

“The most people I see in my clinic when all these pressure changes happen are going to be people that have headaches and migraines,” Nurse Practitioner Krishna Patel with Bon Secours Saint Francis told 7 News. “I also see a lot of people that suffer with joint pains and then also with allergies around here, and then flu and cold season.”

Patel said it’s like when Grandma used to say her knee hurt and then the rain would come.

You might feel it when you take a drive into the mountains and notice a difference in how you breathe.

Or when you feel your ears pop.

That pressure is a direct result of temperature changes.

“That’s why we see more cold and sickness in these kinds of months that we’re seeing right now,” Patel said. “When asthma and allergies happen, we always notice that asthma patients when the air is colder outside, see our asthma patients suffering a little bit more.”

That’s because the cold air causes the bronchioles to shrink and makes it harder for asthma patients to breathe.

It also works the same for joint pain.

And colder weather can even bring an increase in blood sugar.

“They also noticed blood pressure goes up in the colder weather because it constricts the blood vessels as well. So once again, you know, our heart acts as a pump. And then the veins and arteries are acting, taking blood away and to the heart. And so when it gets colder, it’s constricting again. So it’s causing pressure to go up,” said Patel.

She explained this is common for patients aged 65 and up.

“Most younger patients’ bodies are able to control the effects and regulate on their own,” said Patel.

She added the best preventative measures you can take are to get ahead of it.

“Because there’s no way we can avoid, you know, outside or anything like that,” Patel said. “I think it’s basically just being aware and knowing how to take care of the symptoms that you’re having.”

Stay on top of the forecast.

Know when there’s going to be a swing in temperatures.

Plan ahead.

And make sure you’re keeping up with your medications to treat your symptoms that might be triggered.

That way, your body can adapt to the changes a bit more quicker.

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