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Health A-Z

COLDS

A cold will typically last 1-2 weeks and very rarely needs prescribed medication. There are many different symptoms of a cold:

•coughing
•blocked/runny nose
•muscle aches
•headaches
•sore throat
•sneezing
•raised temperature
•loss of smell and taste
•pressure in your ears

Ways to treat a cough at home:

•Get plenty of rest
•Drink lots of fluids
•Keep warm

Your local pharmacist can offer advice on over the counter medications such as:

•decongestants to help ease blocked nose/ears
•painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to help with aches and to lower your temperature. Please inform your pharmacist of any over the counter medication you are already taking.
•cough and cold remedies – these are unlikely to speed up your recovery

You should only need to see a GP if:

•your symptoms haven’t improved after 3 weeks
•your symptoms are suddenly worse
•you have chest pain caused by coughing
•your temperature is very high
•your neck feels painful and swollen
•you have difficulty breathing
•you have a weakened immune system due to other illnesses or medication
•you have a long-term medical condition


CONJUNCTIVITIS

What is conjunctivitis


COUGH

A cold will typically last 1-2 weeks and very rarely needs prescribed medication. There are many different symptoms of a cold:

•coughing
•blocked/runny nose
•muscle aches
•headaches
•sore throat
•sneezing
•raised temperature
•loss of smell and taste
•pressure in your ears

Ways to treat a cough at home:

•Get plenty of rest
•Drink lots of fluids
•Keep warm

Your local pharmacist can offer advice on over the counter medications such as:

•decongestants to help ease blocked nose/ears
•painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen to help with aches and to lower your temperature. Please inform your pharmacist of any over the counter medication you are already taking.
•cough and cold remedies – these are unlikely to speed up your recovery

You should only need to see a GP if:

•your symptoms haven’t improved after 3 weeks
•your symptoms are suddenly worse
•you have chest pain caused by coughing
•your temperature is very high
•your neck feels painful and swollen
•you have difficulty breathing
•you have a weakened immune system due to other illnesses or medication
•you have a long-term medical condition


HAYFEVER

Hay fever is most common during Spring and Autumn. There are many different symptoms of hay fever:

•coughing
•blocked/runny nose
•itchy, watery or red eyes
•headaches
•sneezing
•loss of smell
•itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears

Scarborough and Ryedale CCG patient leaflet: Hayfever PIL

Ways to limit the impact of hay fever:

•Stay indoors during high pollens times
•put Vaseline around your nostrils
•wear wraparound sunglasses
•shower and change after you have been outside
•keep windows and doors closed
•you can buy vacuum cleaners, fans and humidifiers with special filters to remove pollen from your house
•vacuum and dust regularly
•do not smoke and avoid others who do – it can make your symptoms worse

Your local pharmacist can offer advice on over the counter medications such as:

•antihistamine treatments

You should only need to see a GP if:

•your symptoms don’t improve after taking over the counter medications
•your symptoms are getting worse


HEADACHES

Headaches can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours but most will go away on their own and are not a sign of anything more serious.

Ways to limit the impact of headaches:

•drink plenty of water
•try to relax, stress or anxiety can make a headache worse
•take paracetamol or ibuprofen – please check with your pharmacist first if you are on any prescribed medication
•get plenty of rest, particularly if you have a cold or flu
•try to eat regularly
•avoid alcohol
•avoid eye strain by limiting mobile device use

Your local pharmacist can offer advice on over the counter medications such as:

•paracetamol or ibuprofen

You should only need to see a GP if:

•your keep getting headaches
•over the counter painkillers do not ease your symptoms or they become worse
•you feel sick, vomit or find light and/or noise painful

You should go straight to A&E or call 999 if any of the following apply:

•your headache is the result of a head injury
•you have a sudden and extremely painful headache
•loss of vision
•you feel drowsy or confused
•you have a very high temperature, feel hot and shivery, and have a stiff neck or a rash
•sudden memory problems


HEAD LICE

Head lice


For further health advice see: NHS health information

 

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