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Change in weather can adversely affect health

December 22, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
The rainy weather can wreak havoc on a host of health conditions."Rain is kind of a downer, right? Especially when it's long periods of time," said one Sierra Madre resident.

The rain may mess with your mental outlook, but many people said it can also affect them physically.

"The science isn't really sturdy there. But you talk to anybody over the age of 55, and when the weather changes, they will say 'I'm stiff.' So there seems to be at least anecdotal evidence that it does make a difference," said internal medicine expert Dr. John de Beixedon of Huntington Hospital.

Beixedon said barometric pressure changes can impact people suffering from certain conditions.

A survey of patients who have fibromyalgia, a chronic condition of fatigue, shows 90 percent of them find that cold and humid weather makes them feel worse.

But precipitation is a good thing if you have asthma.

"Humidity tends to help asthmatics. That's one of the reasons why asthmatics often can swim, because the humidity of up to three feet from the pool actually helps asthma," said Beixedon.

If you think the rain gives you headaches, you're right. Weather changes can affect sinus pressure. But it's high heat that brings troubling migraines.

"Some people are more sensitive. Usually for migraines, though, it's hot weather that sets off migraines," said Beixedon.

But the most dangerous health hazard associated with the rain, doctors say, is being in the rain itself.

"The biggest risk is probably slips and falls, because when the pavement is wet, people slip," Beixedon said. "I have seen people wearing footwear that is certainly not weather savvy."

So if you're feeling under the weather, the best remedy is: Take it easy.

"For any condition, always make sure you get the proper amount of rest, the proper amount of sleep and try not to stress too much," said the doctor.

Rain is also good for allergies because rain washes away allergens. However, whenever there's rain, there will be new pollen growth, which leads to more allergies.