Jeremy Clarkson urged by doctor to stop drinking to cure blocked salivary duct

Jeremy Clarkson discusses his recovery from coronavirus

Jeremy Clarkson was treated for pneumonia in 2017. The now 60-year-old was on holiday in Majorca at the time he was taken ill and posted a picture in a wheelchair, connected up to tubes, in hospital. Clarkson quit smoking when it was revealed to him it was definitely a factor behind him catching the illness.

“I was told, by everyone, that I had to stop. Immediately,” he wrote in his column in The Sunday Times last year.

“I had no choice at the time because the blood poisoning was so bad and I was so racked with the resultant rigors that I couldn’t work a cigarette lighter.”

He continued in his column how people were urging him to give up drinking or to take up running for other health reasons.

In another interview he revealed: “I turned 60 and now absolutely everything is going wrong.

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“Today, it’s Super Saturday and I was very much looking forward to going to the pub for seven hundred beers.

“But a doctor has just told me the pain in my neck is being caused by a blocked salivary duct and that to cure it, I must drink no alcohol of any kind. Spiffing.”

A blocked salivary duct is when something physically obstructs the tube that connects the gland to your mouth, causing saliva to back up in the gland.

One of the most common causes of a blocked salivary duct is a salivary gland stone.

Salivary gland stones are small stones that form in salivary glands in your mouth and can block the flow of saliva, explains the NHS.

They’re not usually serious and you may be able to remove them yourself.

The health body advises: “Most stones appear below your tongue in one of the tubes (glands) supplying saliva to your mouth. You cannot always see them.

“The stones may cause dull pain in your mouth that comes and goes, swelling in your mouth that flares up from time to time or an infection around the stone.

“If you feel intense pain during mealtimes, this could mean the stone is completely blocking a saliva gland. The pain usually lasts one to two hours.”

There are a number of things you can try yourself to remove the stone. Their key is to increase saliva production.

You can try:

  • Sucking on a lemon or lemon drops
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Gently massaging around the stone

If you have pain and swelling you can take paracetamol or ibuprofen or suck ice cubes or ice lollies.

You should see a GP if you’re unable to remove the stone yourself or the stone has caused an infection.

Signs of an infection include pain, redness or use around the stone, also a high temperature.

A GP may attempt to gently remove the stone with a thin, blunt instrument.

But if that’s not possible, the stone may need to be removed in hospital. 

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