Winter is often referred to as cold and flu season, but those aren’t the only illnesses that see an increase during the colder weather. Despite what many people think, the cold weather actually isn’t the cause of any of those illnesses, it just contributes to the factors that make them spread! 

What Causes Bronchitis?

Bronchitis is caused by a bacteria or virus entering the body. Acute bronchitis often occurs after you suffer from an upper respiratory infection, while chronic bronchitis sufferers face different causes. It’s no secret that colds are more common in the winter, so it makes sense that the number of bronchitis cases follows that increase too. 

More Time Spent Indoors

Contagious bacteria and viruses spread rapidly during the winter because more people spend their time indoors. When you have large numbers of people in indoor spaces, it creates a breeding ground for illness. One infected individual can touch multiple door knobs, shake multiple hands, and even sneeze or cough without covering their mouth, and infect tons of people around them. When it’s warm, people spend more time outdoors and less time in close quarters with potentially sick people. It’s important to disinfect indoor spaces regularly, especially during the winter. Try to avoid touching your face when you know you’ve been in a crowded indoor setting too, because all it takes is one touch to become sick! 

Poor Hand Hygiene

Another reason why bronchitis is more common during the winter is because even though bacteria and viruses are all around, people fail to practice good hand hygiene to prevent the spread of those harmful illnesses. Good hand hygiene is the best way to lower your risk of the cold, flu, bronchitis, and other contagious illnesses. Practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands regularly throughout the day, not just after using the restroom or before eating a meal. Each time you wash your hands you should lather the tops of your hands and between your fingers, not just the palm of the hand. Once you’ve finished washing your hands, dry them with paper towels or a hand dryer. Wet hands pick up and spread germs more easily than dry hands.

If you believe you’re suffering from bronchitis, seek treatment right away to manage your symptoms and prevent a worse condition like pneumonia. Your local urgent care center is the best place to go for quick and effective bronchitis care. With urgent care centers becoming increasingly popular, there’s probably one even closer to you than you realize!