Spalding area Dr Kevin Hill shares healthcare advice for men
With the winter bug season upon us, we are encouraging men across Lincolnshire to take care of themselves during the winter months.
Colds and flu affect us all. However, studies show that men aren’t the best at looking after their health, which can be to their detriment, especially if they have an underlying condition.
Sore throat, chesty cough or just generally feeling under the weather – winter ailments can get the best of us down.
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If you’re generally fit and healthy, you can usually manage the symptoms of a cold or flu yourself without seeing a doctor.
Look after yourself by resting, drinking fluids to avoid dehydration and avoiding strenuous activity. Your local pharmacist can give you advice on the best over the counter medication to relieve aches and pains.
However, some men need to take extra care as they’re more at risk of serious chest complications, such as pneumonia and bronchitis.
Men over 65 are more at risk of complications, as are those under 65 with underlying conditions such as diabetes, asthma or chronic heart disease.
For these men, the best protection is a free flu vaccination. The jab is quick, effective and will protect you against the flu virus all winter.
If your cold or flu symptoms continue for three weeks or more, contact your GP practice for an appointment as practices now offer a range of evening and weekend appointments.
These appointments may not be offered at your registered practice, however by contacting them one can be offered to you.
So if you feel under the weather, why not pop into your local pharmacy, visit www.nhs.uk/asap or call NHS111 for advice on what to do. If the symptoms don’t go away, then go and see your GP practice.
People across Lincolnshire are also being urged to use antibiotics responsibly and in moderation ahead of the winter season.
GPs and pharmacists also want to remindmembers of the public that antibiotics only work on infections caused by bacteria, not those caused by viruses, such as common winter coughs, colds and flu.
People are also encouraged to practice good hygiene, such as regular hand washing, to avoid infections and help prevent them spreading to others.
Using antibiotics when you don’t need them can contribute to the problem of antibiotic resistance. Basically, the more antibiotics are used, the more chances bacteria have to become resistant to them. Antibiotics should only be used when really needed and when prescribed by a doctor.
If people are feeling unwell with coughs and colds, they can receive excellent advice from their local pharmacist. In many cases taking simple remedies, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen and cold and flu products will provide relief.