How the weather fluctuations this winter are impacting people’s health

It has been a winter of temperature fluctuations. The extremes can cause issues for wildlife and plants but doctors say it can also take a toll on people’s health.

When you look around this winter, so many things seem out of place from people wearing shorts to families sitting on balconies for lunch.  “One day it’s cold, the next day it is warm,” said one Boston woman.

Remember the scene last month, when there was bitter cold one day and not even 24 hours later there was a complete 180? “One day no jacket, the next day you have to have hats and gloves,” a South Boston woman said.

Aside from the toll it’s having on people’s winter wardrobe – doctors say these up and down temps can take a toll on your health. Dr. Eduardo Garcia is a Neurologist at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. “In the general population, it can lead to mood disorders or problems where you are more tired the next morning and if you are more tired that can make you anxious,” said Dr. Garcia.

The doctor explains how the barometric pressure changes with the weather and that can exacerbate all sorts of health issues – especially for people with underlying health conditions. “If you have untreated sleep apnea for example and you have fluctuations in the weather, that can make you more tired,” said Dr. Garcia. The doctor says there is a growing number of health questions as we learn more about climate change. “Our bodies are very sensitive to those changes,” said Dr. Garcia.

Locals admit this winter has been a nice break but adding this pattern has been alarming. “I’m scared now of global warming,” said a woman. Dr. Garcia says they are seeing more patients with complications from the temperature fluctuations.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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