A habit going up in smoke

Medical Matters   It’s now just over 50 years ago since it was first announced that smoking causes lung cancer, a moment which spelled the beginning of a decline in tobacco use. Despite all of the negative effects from smoking and restrictions on its use in public places, a considerable number of people still use…

Healing harmonies

Medical Matters   Music has been used for millenia to raise our spirits. The ancient Greeks recognised that physical and mental well-being could be enhanced by music. Indeed, music was used to improve performance in athletes at the ancient Olympic games. Pythagorus believed that it could soothe ailments of the spirit, body and soul and…

Can someone be ‘too old’ to drive?

Medical Matters   The issue of fitness to drive has garnered some media attention in recent weeks after Britain’s Prince Philip was involved in a road traffic accident that came close to inflicting serious injury. Undoubtedly, if he had youth on his side and wasn’t in his 98th year many eyebrows may not have been…

Act FAST to fight strokes

Medical Matters   Speed is of the essence when faced with a stroke. The latest figures for life expectancy in Ireland have once again improved with the average age of death for males now at 79.9 years and females 83.6 years. This puts life expectancy for males here at higher than the EU average and…

Treat that irritable bladder

Medical Matters   Lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are common with increasing age and can often be a source of much discomfort, impacting significantly on quality of life. Indeed, it can also be embarassing for those who suffer who may present late to their GP and endure symptoms for some time before getting treatment. In…

Answering the acid test

Medical Matters   One of the most commonly prescribed medications in Ireland are proton pump inhibitors which are used in the treatment of acid reflux and peptic ulcers. In fact, up to 20% of adults suffer with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) which appears to be increasing in prevalence and is more common in those of…

Pressure: warding off a silent killer

Medical Matters   Do you keep an eye on your blood pressure? High blood pressure (hypertension) is one the biggest contributors to heart and stroke disease and premature death. While having high cholesterol is often talked about, its negative effect is much less significant than hypertension. Last year saw new guidelines being introduced by several…