Common Student Health Problems

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Some common health problems that face students

Moving away from home for the first time can give you a real sense of freedom but it can also be quite daunting, especially if you run into problems. Most students suffer from some form of minor illness or health complaint during their time at university, and knowing how to cope when you’re ill is half the battle towards getting better.

Here is a brief guide to some common student health problems and basic advice about what to do if you’re suffering. 

You’ve got a cough/sore throat/cold

This is probably the most common complaint students have during university. The best thing you can do is rest, drink lots of fluid, and take paracetamol if you’re feeling achy.

If your symptoms last longer than a few days or get worse, book an appointment with your GP as they may recommend antibiotics. 

You’ve got diarrhoea/you’re vomiting

Neither of these symptoms are nice, and in shared housing, they’re the last thing you want to have. Both of these problems should clear up within 48 hours, but in the meantime keep your fluid levels up, try not to eat solid foods, and try over the counter anti-diarrhoeal medicine.

Get yourself to the doctor if your symptoms don’t go away in 48 hours or you have other symptoms such as a headache or swellings. 

You’ve got a rash

Some people are more prone to rashes than others and there are all sorts of common irritants, such as washing powder, which can cause them. Most rashes will go away on their own but if they don’t, don’t go away when a glass is rolled over them, or you also have a headache, swollen tongue, or difficulty breathing, get yourself to the doctor immediately as this may be a sign of Meningitis.

You’ve got a cut

Don’t panic! Wash the wound and place a clean dressing such as a plaster, bandage, or wound dressing patch on it. If the cut is deep and applying pressure doesn’t stop the bleeding, go to your local Accident and Emergency (A&E) department.