Most common problems are easily treated and get better by themselves. If, however, you feel symptoms are not resolving, or if you are worried, please contact the surgery for advice.
Most sore throats are caused by viruses and antibiotics cannot help. Simple treatment with Paracetamol, throat lozenges, painkilling throat sprays like Difflam and gargles with salt and water will help.
Again, most coughs are due to viruses which have to run their course. To ease the symptom you can try steam inhalation or a simple cough linctus from a pharmacy. For small children, a steamy room, such as the kitchen or bathroom, is appropriate. Do not bother taking any antibiotics you may have in the house as these will have no effect. If your cough is worsening, you have other symptoms like shortness of breath or it persists for 4 weeks then consult a doctor.
Often earache will resolve with Paracetamol. In children an antibiotic if needed at all, will only shorten the time in pain by a couple of hours and so often is not given. If it is severe, persistent, or there is pussy discharge from the ear canal, consult a doctor.
Ears are designed to clean themselves, and regular cleaning isn’t necessary. Sometimes you may find your ear is blocked with wax and you can’t hear, and if this is a problem removing the wax may help. You can try olive oil, wax drops or a bulb syringe from your local pharmacist as long as you don’t have a hole in your eardrum (perforation). If this does not succeed our practice nurses can still see you for removal.
Diarrhoea and Vomiting
This almost always has a viral cause. Antibiotics are very rarely helpful and can make things worse. Treatment is with clear fluids (squash, ‘flat’ coke or Dioralyte from a chemist). Bland food may be introduced when things have quietened down for 12 hours. Cramp-like pains can be treated with Paracetamol or Buscopan in adults. Diarrhoea can also commonly be due to anxiety, too much caffeine or alcohol and is a common side effect of medication.
Remove any clothing over the area immediately. Treat with cold water straight away. Apply cling film, if extensive. Seek medical advice if you are worried or the area is large or blistered, especially on the hands and face.
These can be treated with ‘R.I.C.E.’ – Rest, Ice, Compression (with bandage or tubigrip) and Elevation. Sprains can take around six weeks to heal. Early physiotherapy exercises and advice can be found via MSK website in Useful resources.
This is very common and usually follows awkward lifting or bending. Lying on a firm surface with a pillow under the knees can help initially, as can Paracetamol or Ibuprofen. Then it is important to keep moving and walking as this helps pain and recovery. Early physiotherapy exercises to try can be found via MSK website in Useful resources. Consult a doctor if the pain persists, if the pain goes down the leg or there is a sudden difficulty in passing water or opening the bowels.
If your child has a rash but is otherwise well, then it is likely to be due to a viral infection and will settle in a couple of days. If your child is unwell with a rash, you should seek medical advice.
Obesity is an increasingly common problem that can have a significant effect on your short and long term health from joint/back pain, fatigue, fertility problems to breathlessness, diabetes and heart disease. There are many community and online resources available to help with weight loss and improve your fitness. You may not always need a GP appointment.
If you are not sure of your Body Mass Index (BMI) please ask reception who can arrange to have this calculated. If your BMI is over 40 you are entitled to the annual flu jag. If you are worried about you or your child’s weight please make a GP appointment.