Self Help and Wellbeing
Stay Well This Winter
Getting the right help and services
The winter months are always a busy time for GP Practices.
There may be another service or healthcare professional that you can see to give you the support you need without contacting the Practice. Find the right service for your needs on the Stay Well Dorset website by following this link>>
Everyone has an important role to prevent illness and minor issues like coughs and colds, sore throats, or ear infections can be easily treated at home with cheap medicines from your local pharmacy without needing an appointment or prescription.
Medicine cabinet essentials include:
- Pain relief (e.g. paracetamol, ibuprofen)
- Cough or sore throat remedies
- First aid kit (plasters, bandages, antiseptic wipes)
- Oral rehydration salts
- Heartburn and indigestion treatment
- A thermometer
Stocking up on these essentials will not only help you feel better sooner and save you time, but also help the NHS save much needed resources.
Scroll down for Self Care tips to keep you and your family well this winter.
Self Care Tips
Here are some tips to help you treat six common conditions this winter.
Self-Care – Coughs
Coughs can often be managed at home without visiting the GP. You should rest and drink plenty of fluids to help ease your symptoms. Home remedies such as lemon and honey can also be helpful, while over-the-counter pain relief like paracetamol or ibuprofen may ease any discomfort. Your local pharmacist and advise you.
Most coughs are harmless and will go away on their own, but if your cough lasts for more than three weeks, contains blood, or you have trouble breathing, we recommend that you contact us.
Self-Care – Colds
To speed up your recovery, we recommend staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest. Additionally, you can purchase over-the-counter cold medicines like painkillers and decongestants from a pharmacy or supermarket to relieve your symptoms.
Most colds last between 1-2 weeks and typically resolve on their own. However, if your symptoms suddenly worsen, persist for more than three weeks, or you develop a high temperature above 39°C, please contact us.
Self-Care – Sore Throat
Adults can soothe a sore throat by gargling warm salt water and sucking on ice cubes or hard sweets. For children, ice lollies are a safer option than small items that could cause choking. You can speed up the recovery process by staying hydrated and getting enough rest. Your local pharmacist can advise you on over-the-counter medicines to help alleviate any pain and discomfort.
Sore throats typically clear up within a week. If your symptoms persist beyond a week or you often get sore throats, we recommend contacting us.
Self-Care – Ear Infection
You can manage the pain and discomfort with over-the-counter painkillers like paracetamol or ibuprofen, or by using a warm or cold flannel on the ear. Antibiotics are not recommended for ear infections as they don’t alleviate symptoms and the infection should clear up by itself within 3-7 days.
Ear infections are generally harmless and can be easily treated at home. However, if the earache persists beyond 3 days, or you experience frequent ear infections, we recommend that you contact us.
Self-Care – Sinusitis
When managing sinusitis at home, we suggest getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids and taking over-the-counter painkillers for any pain or fever. Additionally, visit your local pharmacist for expert advice or other ways to manage your symptoms, such as using salt water solutions or nasal sprays to clean your nose.
Although sinusitis can be easily managed at home, we advise you to contact us if your symptoms worsen, do not improve after a week or you experience recurring sinusitis.
Self-Care – Conjunctivitis
This is an inflammation of the eye either caused by infection or an allergy. It usually clears with bathing the eye with cooled boiled water within 7-10 days. If however the eye remains sticky with discharge antibiotic drops can be bought for anyone aged over 2 from your chemist. If it is an allergy, then symptoms can also be eased by over-the-counter allergy drops. Find your local pharmacy by following this link>>
More tips for self care throughout the year
We have developed a guide for the self – management of the following conditions:
- Acute Sinusitis (adults)
- The Common Cold
- Middle Ear Infection
- Urine Symptoms in Men
- Fever in Children
- Lower Back Pain
- Heartburn and Indigestion