Are you living with a niggle?

By Emily Grenfell


Should you be seeking medical advice sooner? Many conditions are easily diagnosable, and when treatments often mean a simple change in behaviour rather than medication, do you always seek advice as quickly as you should?


Here at babylon we did the rounds asking what issues people lived with before realising that there was a simple cure, and we asked Dr. Patel for his thoughts on the symptoms described. After all, with a doctor there for you on your mobile, why live with the niggly things?



I had a blocked nose for about two months, and just assumed it was a cold that was taking a really long time to clear. I made a babylon appointment after I'd been living with it for ages and it turned out that I had allergies. A prescription for antihistamines cleared my nose in a couple of days and I've been fine ever since.


What the doctor says:

While allergies can be the cause of many a blocked nose, if you’ve been suffering for a long time it could also be a sign of nasal polyps, a deviated septum, or chronic sinusitis. All of these issues are very treatable so there’s no need to live with it.   




I used to suffer with horrible hangovers after only one glass of wine, and I was worried that I was developing a sensitivity to alcohol. I went to see a doctor for something completely different and apologised for being hungover during the appointment. He jokingly said “You need some vitamin B in your system, time for a big glass of milk and a yoghurt”, Which would be possible if I weren’t lactose intolerant. I suddenly realised that by cutting out dairy I had been gradually developing a vitamin B deficiency, which led to horrible hangovers. I bought supplements on the way home and I’ve been fine ever since.


What the doctor says:

If you’ve been suffering from really bad hangovers it might be that you need to drink more water (and less alcohol!), stick to bland foods, make sure you are getting enough sleep. If hangovers and alcohol are affecting your life, you should speak to a GP about getting more support.




My wife used to complain about my snoring, which had been bad for a few months before she made me get it checked out. I saw a doctor and she identified that I was having a reaction to something that was restricting my breathing. I was prescribed antihistamines and have slept perfectly ever since, as has my wife!


What the doctor says:

Snoring can be a sign of all kinds of issues, the key ones to consider are obesity, allergic rhinitis, and obstructive sleep apnoea. If snoring is causing a problem for you or your partner, why not speak to a GP to see if they can help?



I was starting to get a few aches and pains in my back, which I thought were just part of getting older. However, they were getting worse throughout the week and soon I was finding it pretty hard to focus at work. My husband suggested that I try speaking to a doctor about pain killers. During our chat the doctor asked a lot of questions about my posture and we quickly realised that our new fancy office chairs were making the problem worse. By taking a cushion to work and making sure I stood up once an hour the problem rapidly resolved and I was able to get on with my life problem-free!


What the doctor says:

Back ache is incredibly common and often mis-attributed to just getting old. Common causes include poor lifting technique, not stretching properly after exercise, and poor lumbar support in chairs. If you’re still suffering despite being careful, speaking to a GP can help to find other common causes, allowing you to fix the problem quickly often medication free!


If you have suffered from any of the above or have a different type of niggle, why not speak to a babylon doctor today? They’re available between 8am and 8pm and are more than happy to help.