Coughs and Colds – Your Survival Guide

Gary Evans is the pharmacist at Boots in Mumbles. Each month, Gary tackles a common ailment that can often be remedied by an over the counter treatment. This month he looks at coughs and colds or that dreaded illness ‘man flu’ and asks that ladies be sympathetic to their men-folk while they are suffering. Suffering! (I shall ask him to cover PMT next month - Ed.)

Coughs and Colds – your survival guide.

It’s that time of year again! The nights are drawing in and the temperatures will soon be dropping. Coughs and colds are a very common part of winter. We’ve all suffered from a cough or cold at one time or another, and for the majority of us these are minor illnesses that can be successfully combatted using the remedies found in your local pharmacies. Even the most dreaded illness ‘Man Flu’ can be treated by the simple remedy of bed rest and regular cups of tea – ladies please be sympathetic!

In fighting the cold war Vitamin C is the weapon of choice. 1000mg of Vitamin C daily when you first feel the start of a cold stop it in its tracks. If this doesn’t work, then we can treat the symptoms of a cold with over the counter remedies from the pharmacy. We have cough mixtures for every type of cough from the dry tickly sort, to the chesty kind. We can supply decongestants for a blocked or runny nose and good old paracetamol to relieve any fever and headache. Always check with your pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines whether non-prescription or from your GP.

Most coughs and colds are caused by a virus. The common cold is caused by a few different strains of a virus, and they can cause different symptoms. Flu is caused by a different virus, and is more serious than the common cold. You can determine if flu is the cause because flu brings with it extra symptoms like tiredness, aches and pains and the inability to get out of bed. Ladies do not confuse with ‘Man Flu’ which is generally a minor cold.

Flu can cause serious problems in people with certain medical conditions, children and the elderly. Always check with your pharmacist or ring NHS Direct on 08454647 if you have any concerns.

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