Common Ailments


If you or a family member are feeling unwell please be aware of the appropriate medical practitioner you need to consult depending on the symptoms. It is not necessarily a GP. 

Community pharmacies offer a Pharmacy first service to help with everyday Health conditions, without needing to consult with a GP.  They will be able to offer advice and treatment of the following conditions:

AcneHaemorrhoidsThreadwormsMouth UlcersVerrucae
Athletes FootHeadliceVaginal ThrushOral Thrush
DiarrhoeaGroin InfectionEarwaxScabies


Sore teeth or gums.

If you have a problem with your teeth or gums please contact your dentist. If you contact us about a dental issue (i.e. teeth and gums) you will only be asked to refer yourself to dentistry. A list of dentists can be found on the following link:

HSC Service Finder

(on that page scroll down to dentists which are listed below chemists) 


Sore eyes.

If your have a red, painful or sticky eye or a sudden change in vision please contact your optician or optometrist. The NI Health and Social Care Board provides a locally enhanced service in the form of the Primary Eyecare Assessment and Referral Service (NI PEARS). If you contact us about an eye condition you will only be asked to refer yourself to optometry. You can find a list of accredited optometry practices here:

NI PEARS Optometry Practices   


Cold or flu-like symptoms.

If you have cold or flu-like symptoms, here are some effective self-care ways to help you feel better:


  • Ask your pharmacist to recommend medicines to help with symptoms or pain
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Make sure you drink enough to avoid feeling thirsty
  • Fever is a sign the body is fighting the infection and usually gets better by itself in most cases. You can use paracetamol if you are uncomfortable as a result of a fever.
  • Use a tissue to catch sneezes and wash your hands frequently to avoid spreading your infection to family and friends.


How long should your symptoms last?

Common illnessesMost people are better by
Ear-ache (middle ear infection)8 Days
Sore throat7 - 8 Days
Sinusitis (adults only)14 - 21 Days
Cold14 Days
Cough or bronchitis21 Days


Here are some helpful leaflets on the above conditions:

Sore Ear

Sore Throat



Common Cold and Flu

Cough and Acute Bronchitis

Do I need an Antibiotic?


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