Why I Love My Great GP

Hello, my name is Cindy. I live in the suburbs of Sydney with my family. Although I would occasionally visit the doctor when I was feeling too good or if one of the children had a cold. However, my whole view on doctors changed when I found a lump on breast last year. I went to my GP in a panic, but he was a real sweetie. He calmed me down and explained he would refer me for a further investigation. Thankfully, they caught my cancer early and after some treatment, I made a full recovery. Since this close call, I have taken a keen interest in everything health related.

Signs That Your Cold Warrants a Visit to the GP


Despite the unusually sunny weather and relatively high standard of living, according to Health Direct, Australian adults usually get two to four colds per year. This frequency of sickness in Australians seems to have lead to a carefree attitude toward illnesses. But what do you do when a cold doesn't go away? Below are a few signs you should probably visit your GP.

Chest Pain or Shortness of Breath

Neither a cold nor influenza directly cause chest pain or shortness of breath. These symptoms are often a sign of a more serious problem, such as pneumonia or heart problems. Also, in relatively healthy people, coughing doesn't typically break ribs, but if you feel rib pain, you may have a pleurisy.

Pain When Swallowing

It isn't uncommon to have a sore or dry throat during a cold, but if you experience throat pain when swallowing, you may have and throat infection or injury.

High Temperature or Persistent Fever

If you have a fever that reaches or passes 38 degrees Celsius, or you have had a fever for longer than 3 days, you may have a secondary infection and should visit a doctor.

Excessive Vomiting

Vomiting is one of the most common symptoms of illness, but vomit for too long, and you risk becoming seriously dehydrated. Typically, adults should visit a doctor if vomiting persists for more than two days. Children should visit a doctor after 24 hours, and infants under 2 years should see a doctor after 12 hours. In these cases, simple intravenous therapy is typically all that's needed to stay properly hydrated.


Blocked ears are a common symptom of illness and aren't a reason to be concerned. However, if you experience an earache or discharge from the ear canal, you may have a bacterial infection, which may require antibiotics. For this reason, it's important to not use ear plugs when sick.

Green Mucus

A small amount of green mucus from coughing is usually normal and fine. However, if it persists, you may have pneumonia or bronchitis and should visit a doctor.

Lengthy Cold

A lengthy cold can be bad news, but how long is too long? If you're showing none of the above symptoms, this question depends greatly on the patient.

For an otherwise healthy child or adult, having cold or flu symptoms for longer than seven days is a sign for a GP visit. For pregnant or nursing women, that span shortens to three days. If an infant under two years of age shows symptoms of cold or flu for any amount of time, a paediatrician visit is recommended.


4 June 2018