Get the Right Treatment
Every year, millions of us visit our GP with minor health problems that can be easily resolved without a doctor’s appointment.
It is estimated that every year, 50 million visits to the GP are made for minor ailments such as coughs and colds, mild eczema, and athlete’s foot. By visiting your pharmacy instead, you could save yourself time and trouble.
How your pharmacy can help:
Keeping a well stocked medicine cabinet at home can help you treat many minor ailments. Colds, coughs, indigestion and many other minor complaints can all be treated with medicines that are available over the counter.
Your pharmacist can advise on what you might find useful to keep in your medicine cabinet. Always follow the instructions on the medicine label and consult your doctor if the illness continues or becomes more severe.
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.
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’s not usually necessary to stay off work or school