Many common illnesses can be treated at home successfully without the need to see your GP. Your Pharmacist is a highly trained professional that can advise you about self-help medicines and how to manage your minor ailments.
By keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments, your pharmacist can advise on the items that you might find useful to keep at home.
Your pharmacist can offer professional health advice at any time without the need for an appointment - they may also be able to offer you a consultation in a private room where you will be able to talk in confidence.
A pharmacist can also answer question about your prescribed medication and any over-the-counter medicines along with giving advice on healthy eating, obesity and giving up smoking.
For advice and information on general health matters telephone: NHS111 or visit: www.nhs.uk/111
Diarrhoea and vomiting is common in adults, children and babies. Symptoms are usually caused by a stomach bug and should pass in a few days.
You can usually treat your symptoms at home and the most important thing is to drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
Your pharmacy can offer further advice or visit: www.nhschoices.uk
Apply large quantities of cold water to the affected area as soon as possible. If the skin is unbroken but blistered apply a large loose dry dressing. The nursing team at the Practice can provide you with a wound check and further dressings if required.
Insect Bites and Stings
For most stings and bites there is no treatment required, you can get antihistamines from the chemist without a prescription if required.
Wash the wound thoroughly. Stop bleeding by applying a clean dressing firmly to the wound for five minutes. Cover with a clean dry dressing.
Sit forward blow the nose to clear, then pinch the flesh part of the nose for at least 10 minutes to stem the bleeding point. If the bleeding persists consult the hospital casualty department.
Sunburn is harmful particularly to a child's skin. Avoid it at all costs by covering up with light, loose clothing including a sun hat and using a high factor sun cream on exposed areas. Treat as a burn.
Coughs & Colds
A cold is a mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It can cause nasal stuffiness, a runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat and a cough. Usually it's a self-limiting infection; this means it gets better by itself without the need for treatment. On average adults have two to five colds each year and school-age children can have up to eight colds a year. Adults who come into contact with children tend to get more colds. This is because children usually carry more of the virus, for longer. In the UK, you are more likely to get a cold during the winter months although the reasons why are not fully understood at present.
Treatment of a cold
For most people, a cold will get better on its own within a week of the symptoms starting without any specific treatment. However, there are treatments that can help to ease your symptoms and make you feel more comfortable. These are available from your pharmacy, which means that you can treat yourself, rather than needing to see your GP. There is no cure for colds. Antibiotics, which treat infections caused by bacteria, don't work on cold viruses. There are a number of self-help measures that may help to ease the symptoms of a cold. Drinking enough fluids to prevent dehydration. Steam inhalations with menthol, salt water nasal sprays or drops may be helpful. Vapour rubs may help relieve symptoms for children. Hot drinks (particularly with lemon), hot soups and spicy foods can help to ease irritation and pain in your throat. Sucking sweets or lozenges which contain menthol or eucalyptus may sooth your throat. Gargling with salt water may help a sore throat. You should try to make sure you get enough rest if you have a cold. It is not usually necessary to stay off work or school.
See a dentist if you have toothache that lasts more than 2 days, does not go away with painkillers, have a high temperature and pain when you bite or have a swollen cheek or jaw.
Go to A&E if you have a toothache and the area around your eye or your neck is swollen or there is swelling in your mouth or neck which is making it difficult for you to breathe, swallow or speak.
See your dentist as soon as possible if you think you have a dental abscess, Avoid visiting your GP, as they would be able to help.
Out of Hours Dentist or Emergency Dentist.
Call your Dentist, there answerphone will advice you what to do. If you don't have a dentist you can call 111
In small children it is important to stop the temperature rising too quickly and children should be given Paracetamol syrup, which can be purchased over the counter. If they still appear hot they should be undressed and gently sponged with tepid water in order to cool them down. If the temperature is very high and does not come down with the above treatment, consult your doctor. A child or adult with a temperature will not come to any harm by being brought into the surgery.
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