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Common Medical Problems

This webpage is intended only for patients registered at Lochgoilhead Medical Centre. Medical advice here should be considered relevant only if you are a registered patient of this practice.

Common Colds

Common Colds are viral infections which affect most of us at some time every year. Unfortunately there is little a doctor can do to help to speed up recovery. Antibiotics do not help wirth virus infections. Normally our bodies are perfectly capable of dealing with such viruses and we will recover with the help of some rest, maybe some Paracetamol or other common cold remedies. If you are worried that your problem is something more serious please ask for advise or a consultation.

Sore Throats

Similar to common colds, most sore throats are the result of viruses and are beyond a doctor's ability to do very much to improve the situation. Most of the time rest and Paracetamol is probably the best way of action.If you maintain though high temperatures, have white spots on the tonsils, have swollen lymph glands or any other worrying symptoms please contact the surgery for advise or a consultation.

Tick bites

Tick bites are a common occurance in the summer months in Lochgoilhead. Ticks can occasionally spread nasty and possibly serious illnesses, the most important locally of which is Lyme's disease or Borelliosis. Ticks - if not completely removed - can also cause significant local inflammation at the bite area, which can take a long time to heal up.

A tick on a pencil tip

There are various ways of removing ticks safely. One of the better ways appears to be to grab the animal carefully and without squeezing with pincers and remove it with a straight upwards movement. Another is the tick twister which is sold at the surgery reception. If you are worried or unable to remove a tick please contact the surgery. The surgery also is able to sell a small tool to facilitate removal of ticks

If ticks are removed within 24 hours and before they are engorged the medical consensus is that the risk to obtain a serious infection is small. If the tick had been attached for longer or was engorged, a case can be made for using a single dose of an antibiotic as prophylaxis. Please make an appointment to discuss this with the doctor.

If you develop any kind of rashes or fever after a tickbite it is imperative that you see your doctor. Your doctor might prescribe a longer course of antibiotics and/or organise some blood tests.

If you are pregnant or in any way immunocompromised it is important that you discuss tickbites with your doctor irrespective of the above advise.


Similar to ticks, midges are a common nuisance during the summer months. Little can be done to prevent bites though there are a huge variety of common remedies, both to prevent bites and to sooth the misery of being bitten too often.

If you do suffer under particularly strong reactions to the little beasties, antihistamines, like Chlorpheniramine or Loratadine, which are available over the counter can be useful and are in most cases safe. Be aware of the risk that antihistamines might influence your reactions and particularly your driving skills. You must avoid any alcohol when using such remedies.

Please contact the surgery if you are concerned about any reactions to midges or other insect bites.


The times when doctors prescribed liberally any amount of sleeping tablets are long gone. Occasional sleeplessness as such is something we best deal with with the help of a good book, a cup of hot chocolate and a warm blanket on a comfy sofa. we will come to little or no harm from having occasionally poor or no sleep. Also for most of us, growing older means that we require less and less sleep. Many elderly people manage just fine with only 5 or 6 hours of sleep every night, while younger people often require a lot more.

On the other side, sleeplessness can obviously be one of the more obvious signs of having e.g. a depression or a number of other medical or psychological problems. Please contact the surgery if you are worried about your inability to sleep sufficiently.

Constipation and Bowel habits

Healthy people of all ages will have a wide variety of bowel habits, all of which perfectly normal and healthy. Anything between 2 or 3 times a week and 2 or 3 times a day is probably just fine. Stools can also be of the harder or softer variety, without this being anything unusual or worrying. If you maintain a healthy diet with plenty of fruit, fibres and fluids, you should have no problem with maintaining health bowel habits. Unless you are on any medications which cause constipation, there is normally no reason for any medication against constipation.

It is important though to be aware of how your bowels function and to be alert of any changes. Particularly if you have any sudden significant changes to your bowel habits you should consider contacting your surgery for an appointment. The appearance of blood, fresh or old is always a reason for serious concern.

Dental Abscesses

Unless you are systemically unwell (e.g. temperature, hot and cold sweats, dizziness or weakness) as a result of a dental abscess - in which case hospital treatment might well be a necessity - there is little to be gained from an appointment with a GP for a dental problem. GPs are not trained to provide help for dental problems. Antibiotics are not considered to be a good choice of treatment for dental abscesses in absence of a more definitive treatment. We would therefore strongly encourage you to make preferentially use of an appointment with the on-call dentist in the case of serious dental problems.

The Dunoon dentists have undertaken to see in Lochgoilhead registered patients in case of dental emergencies.

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