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Coughs & Colds

Coughs and Colds


Coughing, a sore throat, nasal congestion (both blocked and runny noses) and a headache are the main symptoms encountered during the life-cycle of a common cold. Coughing can often continue after the worst of the virus has passed. As well as being an effective way of spreading the cold virus, a cough 'advertises' that you are ill, something that won't make you very popular!


Top Ten Tips From The Common Cold Centre To Help You Fight The Winter Bugs

1.       Antibiotics don't work against colds, most sore throats or coughs

2.       Save time - get advice on how to 'treat yourself' from your pharmacist - don't block up the doctor's surgery

3.       Cough medicines ease your symptoms as the cough runs its course

4.       Hot drinks provide relief from colds, cough and sore throat

5.       Using a cough suppressant will not only help you cope, but can also stop the spread of germs to friends, family and work colleagues

6.       Relieving a dry tickly cough with medicine can help you sleep at night and rest will aid recovery

7.       Make sure you get your flu jab every year if you are aged over 65, suffer from a chronic chest problem or are at risk of complications from flu

8.       Wash your hands - coughs and colds can spread by touch and you should wash your hands after being in public places or after using public transport

9.       Use a scarf when you go into the cold - cold air can make a cough worse

10.    'Treat yourself' and cheer up. Being miserable makes your cough feel worse and may slow recovery


When To Contact a Doctor/Nurse Practitioner

  1. When the patient is distressed due to shortness of breath, chest pain or persistent vomiting
  2. Where there is a previous history of Chronic Chest disease e.g. COPD(Chronic Bronchitis, Emphysema), Bronchiectasis etc where the patient has developed increased shortness of breath or excessive green/yellow sputum
  3. Where the patient has some other significant problem dealing with infections e.g. Leukaemias, and has developed a temperature.


Infections that make Asthma worse are nearly always viral, even when the sputum is green/yellow. Therefore no anti-biotic is necessary and treatment is to reduce the wheeze. The patient should contact the Doctor/Nurse Practitioner if they cannot control the wheeze by their inhalation therapy.