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Colds & Flu A factsheet on the causes, symptoms, treatment & prevention of colds & the flu
NHS Choices - is it the common cold or the flu? Colds and flu can share some of the same symptoms (sneezing, coughing, sore throat) but are caused by different viruses, and flu can be much more serious. Find out more.
Influenza – flu – is a highly infectious and potentially serious illness caused by influenza viruses. Each year the make-up of the seasonal flu vaccine is designed to protect against the influenza viruses that the World Health Organization decide are most likely to be circulating in the coming winter.
Regular immunisation (vaccination) is given free of charge to the following at-risk people, to protect them from seasonal flu:
For more information on flu immunisation, including background information on the vaccine and how you can get the jab, see Seasonal flu jab.
HPA - Season Flu Guide
RCGP & RPS Joint Statement on Flu Vaccines
Seasonal Flu guide
Back Pain Factsheet on the causes, symptoms, treatment & prevention of back pain.
NHS Choices NHS information on back pain
Acute diarrhoea is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection and affects almost everyone from time to time.
NHS Choices Symptoms, causes, treatment and information
Patient UK Acute Diarrhoea in Adults
To save them on your computer, right-click on any of the links below and then click 'Save Target As..." . Click on any of the links below to play the audio files:
Burns - Explains the immediate treatment for burns and scalds.
Fits - How to deal with fits (convulsions/seizures) in adults and young children.
Wounds - Immediate actions for wounds, bleeding, and bleeding associated with fractures.
Unconscious patient who is breathing - How to deal with an unrousable patient who IS breathing (includes recovery position)
CPR for adults - Adults who have collapsed, unrousable and NOT breathing.
CPR for babies - Babies who are unrousable and NOT breathing.
Collapsed patient in detail - Explains the complete scenario including checks for breathing, circulation, etc.
These files have been prepared by Sussex Ambulance Service and comply with European Resuscitation Council Guidelines.
British Red Cross - First Aid Myths Debunk some of the many myths still surrounding first aid
BBC Health - First Aid This site has information about how to react to common injuries and emergencies.
St Johns Ambulance St John Ambulance believes that everyone should learn at least the basic first aid techniques.
Home First Aid Kit All you need to know about preparing and storing your own first aid kit
EAR WAX TREATMENT FACTSHEET
What is ear wax?
Ear wax is made up of oil and sweat secreted from glands in your outer ear canal. Ear wax helps to keep your ears healthy, it is anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Some people feel that they should have their ears cleared regularly, but there is usually no need for ear wax to be cleared. You do not need to wash, scrape or poke wax out of your ears because the wax, along with the skin, usually falls out without you noticing.
What causes wax blockages?
Occasionally, wax can build up in your ear canal and cause a blockage. A number of things may cause this.
You may find that ear wax is more of a problem if you:
· Work in a dusty or dirty environment; or
· Wear ear plugs a lot.
If you use a hearing aid, the ear mould may interfere with the natural process of skin and wax moving out of your ear. This can cause was to build up in your ear canal.
Poking or scraping your ear canal with a finger, a cotton bud or towel can push wax further down your ear canal and actually encourages your wax glands to produce more wax.
Looking after your ears
You can help to prevent wax blockages forming in the first place by looking after your ears.
WE NO LONGER ROUTINELY SYRIGNE EARS AT THE PRACTICE. We know that you may be disappointed if you have been used to having your ears syringed, but ear syringing can lead to ear infections, perforated ear drum and tinnitus (persistent noise). We must provide effective and safe treatment, and we feel sure that you will agree.
If you know you have a wax problem causing deafness and that your ear is healthy you can start the treatment for yourself:
There are a number of products available from the pharmacy that can help liquidify ear wax and so clear the wax plug. The products can be used safely in most patients so long as they ears aren’t painful or inflamed. Alternatively you can put 2 or 3 drops of ordinary olive oil down the ear 2 or 3 times a day for 3 weeks. This softens the wax so that it then runs out of its own accord. It does not harm the ear. You can continue for any length of time, but 3 weeks is usually enough. You will not necessarily see wax come out as it often comes out unnoticed. If, after 3 weeks or more, you are still deaf from wax, you will need to make an appointment with a doctor to decide what should be done.
If you are deaf and you don’t know why, you should see a doctor or a nurse. If we find it is wax causing it, we will advise the olive oil treatment for a minimum of three weeks.
If you have a build up of wax repeatedly, you can keep it free by putting olive oil down twice a week. An alternative softener for treatment or prevention is sodium bicarbonate 5% ear drops. These can be obtained from a chemist.
Can I prevent a build up of ear wax?
Some people are troubled by repeated build-up of earwax and require ear irrigation every so often. In this situation, to prevent earwax building up and forming a plug, some doctors recommend using ear drops regularly. For example, olive oil ear drops.
However, there is no clear research evidence to guide on this issue. For example, it is not clear how often the drops should be used. Different doctors advise different things – from daily, to once a fortnight. It is also no clear if regular use of ear drops does actually prevent earwax from building up. However, if you are troubled by regular plugs of earwax, you may wish to try using ear drops on a regular basis to see if this prevents the problem.
If you have, or suspect you have any kind of ear problem other than wax you should NOT put anything down the ear except after medical advice.
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