We hear it or read it on a daily basis. A fundamental part of living for as long as you can remember. Many sexagenarians will even admit to the fact that they would not go to bed until the weather forecast was over. A sort of guide to how your day’s would be getting planned. Seemed that sports news would take a back seat to the one segment that meant it all.
Mowing the lawn, washing the car, going fishing, hunting and camping, putting on snow tires and much more. For many, the news ended once you knew what to wear the next day and the day after. Would the nights be clear enough to take out and set up a telescope, so you could be the hero to a child and teach them about the heavens above? Perhaps!
The Effects On The Aging Body – The Climate Against You
bi·o·me·te·or·ol·o·gy (bīōˌmēdēəˈräləjē) noun The study of the relationship between living organisms and weather.
For many, including my own self, the achy feelings can start several days before and manifest into an undesirable event. Even if it is just nothing more than a downward trend in barometric pressure, resulting in a heavy overcast day, the effects can take its toll on a person’s health and their psyche as well.
There are days when you just don’t feel like doing much due to the pain. It hurts just too much to go do anything. Other days, a simple application of a warming gel might just do the trick. A good old standby would be an over the counter pain relief medicine, combined with a variety of wearable braces (knee, elbow, ankle), one could muster up just enough movement to get something done.
Non believers would try to tell you that it is all in your head and just like old wive’s tales, the idea of being able to subtly forecast what is coming is a total non-starter. To those of us that live our lives in the midst of weather effects, it is pain inflicted upon us that not only impacts how the joints and muscles feel, but also our moods.
For those in their later 60s the effects can be even more detrimental to partaking in daily activities. It hurts, and it hurts plenty. Changes can occur in a matter of just hours and can last for days depending on regional patterns headed your way. It is not something that a person can prepare for as each approaching system will have different characteristics. Stack them up one behind the other and you are in for a whopper of a time.
The Barometer – Predicting The Future
Invented by a scientist named Evangelista Torricelli in 1644, at the suggestion of Galileo, a sustained vacuum tube was fabricated and his studies of the rise and fall of the mercury on a daily basis, was tied to the changes in atmospheric conditions, which led to his creation of the mercury barometer.
In modern times, the barometer is been used in forecasting on a daily basis. Watch any weather segment in newscasts or other media sources and there is a high probability that the metrics from these instruments will be mentioned.
How sensitive are you? That will depend on your own individual reaction to changing conditions. In older adults, various factors come into play and the aging body will react differently than that of a 20 something. With arteries being a bit more rigid, and the lessened ability of the diameter variation, older adult bodies adapt much slower to the changing conditions.
Setting a barometer to one’s local area can give more precise readings, and give you some knowledge of what is coming. Being a person that reacts unfavorably to drastic changes in pressures (atmospheric, barometric), knowing or marking the boundaries of upper and lower extremes are a plus. The other side of that is not having to use a barometer to know, just by the amount of swelling, aching, and outright pain the body is experiencing.
Changing pressure effects on the human body include:
- Pain at sites where bones were broken or joints with moderate to severe injury.
- Swelling of soft tissues and expansion of fluids in joints.
- Expanding or contracting muscles resulting in nerve and nerve endings being affected.
- Pressure systems containing humidity can cause irritability, tiredness, aggression.
- Headaches and migraines.
- Low pressure linked to increased suicides.
- Congestion, blocked sinuses, pressure headaches.
So what does this magical instrument tell us? Like a crystal ball, it knows ahead of time what you are about to receive in the form of weather, usually 12 to 24 hours in advance. To those of us that are on the upper side of sensitive, our bodies tell us what to expect by giving to 24 to 48 hours advanced warning. For myself, knowing the parameters (which are read as inches of barometric pressure, 92″/30″) where the reactions become unfavorable is tantamount to being able to getting some chores done before being too affected by the lessened peak performance.
So now you have two very different types of barometers. One created of science, the other born from within yourself. Which do you trust the most? Looks to be that the conventional type (scientific) can be more precise to alert as to exactly what types of events is headed your way, whereas the human body, can only tell you at best guess of the upcoming. What is your opinion on this?
Other Factors – Running Hot And Cold
Winter, spring, summer and autumn, seasons that’s all. Each one has qualities that are admired and disliked. All have a different effect on the human body and the reactions, are diverse.
The two seasons that pose the most dramatic effects are summer and winter. Completely opposite in nature, the weather forecast for either can bring some not so pleasant reactions.
Winter has many challenges that most of us already know about. Colds, flu’s, and stuffy noses come to mind first and then as one peels back the layers of the season, underlying ailments begin to appear. Here are a few for you to take a moment to ponder upon and see if and how they may affect your personal lives. Digging deeper will give you more insights on what may be going on in ways not thought of before.
- Chronic Venous Insufficiency: An improper functioning of the valves that control the blood flow in the veins of the legs which can lead to swelling and unwanted changes to the skin.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Right away, the bottom line is depression. Generally starting in the fall, and continuing through the winter, it is a disorder that can take away your energy, stamina, appetite and causing sleep problems. Short term fixes includes phototherapy, medications and psychotherapy. Some may think it is only the holiday blues that hits them.
- Cold weather and Cardiovascular disease: Increasing blood pressure and heart rate equals higher risk for heart attacks and strokes. By limiting certain activities, the body has a better chance of making it through the season more efficiently. These may include limiting exposure to cold temperatures, less physical exertion, not getting overheated, reducing intake of alcohol.
- Diabetes: More people are diagnosed with this ailment in winter than in any other time of the year. Spikes in blood sugar levels are known to peak during the cold season and having a good grasp on carbohydrate levels can make big differences. Staying active, fending off illnesses as best as possible, and avoiding dehydration can go a long way in keeping those levels in check. Click for additional information.
Spring is beautiful and can also be ugly at the same time. While the trees are beginning to show buddings, and flowers suddenly springing up, there is another side to this milder meteorological time. It happens more than most realize and the losses are beginning to add up.
Suicides peak during spring more than any other time of the year, and although many hours of research and analysis constantly being done, no clear answer has emerged. Rates increased as much as 24% between 1999 – 2014 and some researchers expect those numbers to grow from now till 2050.
Did this start in the fall? Is SAD a suspect for the annual influx of suicide? Some experts will tell you that it is possible, as less sunlight hours can bring on depression and depending on how deep, the increase of more light hours in another season may not be enough to lift up one’s spirits to fend off those blues. Are there other factors involved? Perhaps and some research is being done on how pollen, social interaction, and many differing angles on what depresses us can come into play.
Summer is a fun time of the year. A time to be outside and play, travel, relax. It too has many problems that can manifest and the effects on the young and the elderly can take their toll rather quickly.
Migraine headaches are more common as it may seem that someone has closed the pressure valve on the atmosphere and the buildup begins to take a toll. Sinuses are affected from allergies and can quickly change a fun day into a nightmare of pain. Dehydration from humid and warm temperatures, increased hours of sunlight, combined with less sleeping contribute the reasons why there is a pain in the head.
When looking at heat and its related co-conspiritors, those aging in years are greatly affected and deaths are not an uncommon result. Their bodies do not adjust well to dramatic changes in weather events and with having any chronic medical conditions, medications, and becoming dehydrated can become critical factors. The later into your sixties you become, the more care one needs to start taking to stave off detrimental biometeorology events.
Other conditions that can cause malaise during this season include over exerting one’s self, thunderstorms, which can trigger dust storms, mold, and pollen. For those afflicted with COPD, asthma, emphysema or any other respiratory ailments, low moisture in the air can make this time of the year just as difficult as the winter, when too much becomes a problem .
Autumn is probably the second most beautiful time of the year and it too, can bring on its own set of challenges. While the changing of colors amaze and dazzle us, those cooling temperatures that bring relief from a long, hot summer, begins its own cycles of symptoms that affect you.
Seasonal colds and flu strains (late fall) begin their march into the lives of many. More kids back in school and more households coming down with the aforementioned ailments. Arthritis sufferers begin to feel more pain in the stiffening joints and the aches in the bones start to nag. The onset of SAD, Raynaud’s Syndrome, and the continuance of allergies that hammer away at the sinuses from having to begin hanging out indoors more than outdoors.
As you can see, this entire cycle just repeats itself from season to season. Will it ever end? No! For those that are affected the most, it can become reasons to be more depressed, isolated from others, and reasons to doubt your role here on Terra Firma.
Look Into The Crystal Ball – Facts Versus Theories
Scientists, doctors, meteorologists, politicians and theorists all aspire to put in their 2 cents worth when it comes to our climate. What is right and what is fiction? With so many opinions, seems that no one is listening to those that matter the most, you!
There are some statistics that can influence society and how they are affected by meteorological events around the globe, but are they truly the necessary facts that determine the weather?
Age of a person can come into play and the older one gets, changes in their biology can be subtle, or harsh, resulting in profound effects on their health. While the ordinary man or woman on the street are not experts, they know, its in their bones, where it hurts and aches. Intuition, as old as the age of man itself.
On the economic aspects, countries where populations live with rudimentary infrastructures, more negative impacts to changes in patterns of each season affect more people every day. The inability to shelter from destructive and debilitating events takes on not only financial impacts, but also the psychological aspects on the entire region(s) as well.
Then again, there are entire sectors of the populace that have spent their entire lives enduring negative conditions and have fared well. The elders will tell you their stories and how best to survive such a phenomena.
Do drugs and their effects have a say in this? Some think so, but not the way you may think. Reverse the way you look at it and ask, does the weather influence your body in such a negative way that drugs are needed just to get through it? Something as simple as an over-the-counter pain reliever, prescription medications, and to those that believe marijuana has the answer to relief, the common man or woman will be more than happy to provide you with various opinions.
So what is in store for mankind? Predictions are that there will be more major devastation brought on by changing climate conditions in the upcoming decades ahead. Millions of lives could be impacted unless the governments take actions to try to remedy the situations. They tell you that these actions must be adapted to and taken now to offset the potential disasters of the future. Is it fair for only one side of the equation to have control over the populations of the world?
Those that opt to see the current situation for what it is, will tell you that weather changes every day, and has done so since time began. Man has adapted to conditions throughout evolution and has accepted to the way of life at hand. Are they in denial and aligning themselves politically, or expressing a just and acceptable reality?
What is the truth, what are the misconceptions? Those answers lie somewhere between science and the individuals who are affected by uncontrollable factors. Is planet earth merely just going through seasonal cycles consisting of millions of years, or are conditions really changing? Is it up to man to try to change the behavior of what is natural and to whose benefit?
How do animals factor into the entire scenario?
Your opinion counts in this world and you are invited to speak up, rationally!
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How does pain affect you, find out today!