Did you know that 10 of the most minor ailments seen by GPs can also be treated by you at home?
By treating yourself at home you could save a trip to the surgery and free up time for the GPs to see patients with more serious health problems.
Read about some of the most effective home treatments on the NHS website for:
- Back pain
- Heartburn and indigestion
- Nasal congestion (blocked nose)
- Sprains and strains
Each year 25% of the population visit their GP for a respiratory tract infection (eg sinus, throat or chest infection). These are usually caused by viruses.
For patients who are otherwise healthy, antibiotics are not necessary for viral infections.
These infections will normally clear up by looking after yourself at home with rest, plenty of fluids and paracetamol.
Ear infections typically last 4 days
89% of cases clear up on their own
A sore throat typically lasts 7 days
40% of cases clear up after 3 days and 90% after 7 days without antibiotics
Sinusitis typically lasts 17 days
80% clear up in 14 days without antibiotics
Cough/bronchitis typically lasts 21 days
Antibiotics reduce symptoms by only 1 day
Antibiotics only work for infections caused by bacteria.
Antibiotic Resistance & Guardianship
Taking unnecessary antibiotics for viral infections should be avoided because they may not be effective next time you have a bacterial infection.
You can treat many minor ailments such as colds, coughs and indigestion by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home.
We suggest you keep the following:
- Paracetamol and aspirin (children under 16 and people with asthma should not take aspirin)
- Mild laxatives
- Anti-diarrhoeal medicines
- Rehydration mixture
- Indigestion remedy (for example, antacids)
- Travel sickness tablets
- Sunscreen – SPF15 or higher
- Sunburn treatment (for example, calamine)
- Tweezers and sharp scissors
- A thermometer
- A selection of plasters, non-absorbent cotton wool, elastic bandages and dressings
- Keep the medicine chest in a secure, locked place out of reach of small children
- Always read the instructions and use the suggested dose
- Watch expiry dates – don’t keep or use medicines past their sell-by date
- Take all unwanted and out-of-date medicines back to the pharmacy
Check your own Blood Pressure
It is important to be aware of your blood pressure because the higher your blood pressure is, the higher your risk of potential health problems in the future.
You can now check your own blood pressure at Battle Health Centre using our new blood pressure machine which can be found in reception along with a step by step guide on how to do this.
Ear syringing and ear care
Guidance shows that using olive oil or a bulb syringe from your community pharmacist can unblock ears without the need for full ear syringing. We have taken available information to produce this leaflet to help you self care at home.
For advice on pregnancy, babies and toddlers, visit www.nhs.uk/start4life – a website packed with NHS approved advice and tips for pregnancy, birth, parenthood, breastfeeding support 24/7, weaning and more. It puts everything parents need to know in one place.
Visit www.nhs.uk/change4life for fun ideas to help you and your kids eat well, move more and live longer.
Be smoke free
Join the national campaign and make 2020 the year you quit smoking for good www.nhs.uk/smokefre
Other NHS services
As well as our practice, there are many other local NHS services you can contact for health advice, information or treatment.
You can ask your local pharmacist about lots of health issues, including when to visit your GP. And there’s no need for an appointment.