Medical Q&As

Head cold

I have a really bad head cold at the moment. I am off work at present as I am member of the cabin crew with an airline. My ears are blocked and I am taking the usual stuff to relieve my symptoms. Do you think I should go to the doctor? I donít want antibiotics but I do want the cold to clear and not come back.

The symptoms you describe could certainly be due to a respiratory infection but they could also be due to hay fever. People very often self-diagnose themselves as suffering from colds and flu when the real problem is one of allergy. I think you are sensible to take time off work because your work involves flying. Flying in a pressurised cabin could cause severe discomfort in your ears and sinuses and exacerbate your symptoms. We are currently in the midst of the hay fever season so given your level of symptoms I think a visit to your doctor would be sensible. If my suspicions are correct and you have hay fever then you donít need antibiotics at all.