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What We Do

We offer a full range
of Medical Services

We are attempting to carry on the tradition of Dr Joyce before which is to offer as comprehensive a medical service as possible here at Castleview Medical centre. From general check ups, to minor surgery, sports injuries, contraception, antenatal care, etc. Your health is important to us at Castleview Medical Centre. This is why we aim to offer a wide range of medical services to ensure that you stay healthy.

If you would like to book an appointment for one of these services please click here.

If you would like to get in touch with us for more information on these services or to enquire about a service not listed here, please click here.

Services we offer

At Castleview Medical Centre, we provide a wide range of services for Men. We know that men often are reluctant to express any issues that they are experiencing unless they feel something is seriously wrong. It is very important to have regular check ups to stay on top of your health and well-being.

As Men age it is vitally important to keep on top of your health.

20's and 30's

It is important to go for a check up these topics regularly:

  • Weight and waist measurements
  • Blood Pressure
  • Testicular Cancer- if you feel an unusual lump or bump on your testicle
  • Skin Cancer - if you notice a mole or growth that looks suspicious or has increased in size
  • Blood Cholesterol and Glucose
  • Anxiety, stress and depression
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases

40's and 50's

It is important to go for a check up these topics regularly:

  • Weight and waist measurements
  • Blood Pressure
  • Eye Checks
  • Hearing Checks
  • Bowel Cancer Screening
  • Cholesterol and Glucose levels
  • Blood Tests
  • Mental Health
  • Sexual Health

60's and 70's

It is important to go for a check up these topics regularly:

  • Weight and waist measurements
  • Blood Pressure
  • Eye Checks
  • Hearing Checks
  • Bowel Cancer Screening
  • Cholesterol and Glucose levels
  • Blood Tests
  • Flu and Pneumonia Vaccines
  • Bone Density Check
  • Mental Health
  • Sexual Health

At Castleview Medical Centre we offer a range of services specific to women including advice regarding:

  • Contraception
  • Menstrual complaints
  • Breast Complaints
  • Gynaecological problems including cervical screening
  • Pregnancy Planning and Care
  • Fertility Testing
  • Sexual Health Issues
  • Menopause

What is Asthma?

Asthma is a condition that affects the airways – the small tubes that carry air in and out of the lungs. The airways become over-sensitive, which means that they react to things that would normally not cause a problem, such as cold air or dust.

This reaction means that muscles around the wall of the airway tighten up, making it narrow and difficult for the air to flow in and out. The lining of the airways then gets swollen (just like your nose during a cold) and sticky mucus is produced, clogging up the breathing passages.

With the airways narrowed like this, you can see why it becomes difficult for air to move in and out and why the chest has to work so much. Tightening of muscle around the airways can happen quickly and is the most common cause of mild asthma.

Thankfully, this tightness can be relieved quickly with the right inhaler. However, the swelling and mucus happen more slowly and need a different treatment. They take longer to clear up and are a particular problem in more severe asthmatic cases.

Diagnosing Asthma

  • How long have you had asthma-like symptoms?
  • How often do you have symptoms?
  • How do your symptoms affect your day to day life?
  • Have you had an attack or regular attacks of wheezing, coughing or shortness of breath?
  • Do you cough at night and does it disturb your sleep?
  • Do you wheeze or cough after exercise?
  • Do you wheeze or cough after you come in contact with triggers such as pollen, smoke, cold air etc.?
  • Do your colds go down to your chest or take more than ten days to clear?
  • Are your symptoms improved by taking asthma treatments?
  • Is there a history of asthma in your family?

Treating Asthma

Around 60% of asthma sufferers in Ireland do not have their asthma under control. With the right treatment you can control your asthma and keep your symptoms at bay.

There are a variety of different treatments and medications for asthma. Some, called relievers, work to relieve your symptoms when they happen, while others, called controllers, help to control your symptoms and stop them happening.

It is important to take your medication as prescribed.


When you breathe in reliever medication it relaxes the muscles around the airways, allowing them to widen and making it easier for you to breathe. You should use your reliever inhaler whenever you get asthma symptoms or if you are having an asthma attack. Everyone with asthma should have a reliever inhaler and you should always carry your reliever inhaler with you.

Facts about Relievers

  • Reliever inhalers are usually blue.
  • Reliever inhalers are sometimes referred to as ‘rescue medication’.
  • They work quickly to ease your symptoms.
  • You can take your reliever in advance of coming in contact with an asthma trigger e.g. before you exercise or before you go out in cold air.
  • Reliever medication is safe and has few side effects. Some relievers may slightly increase your heart rate, or cause mild tremors but these side effects are temporary and should not cause concern.
  • If you use your reliever inhaler more than twice a week, it is a sign that your asthma is not controlled and you should speak to your doctor.


The key to controlling your asthma is to use your controller inhaler every day, even when you are well. Controller medication contains a steroid called corticosteroid. It does not relieve your symptoms immediately, but builds up over a period of time to reduce swelling in the airways and stop your symptoms developing.

At first, your doctor will prescribe the level of controller medication needed to get your asthma under control. Over time, once your asthma is better controlled, you may be ‘stepped down’ to a lower level of medication.

Facts about Controllers

  • Controller inhalers vary in colour but are usually brown.
  • Controller inhalers should be taken everyday, even when you are well.
  • The steroids in controller inhalers are similar to those found naturally in the body and should not be confused with anabolic steroids, which are sometimes banned for use in sport.
  • When you inhale controller medication it targets the airways directly so only a small amount is absorbed into the rest of your body.
  • Sometimes using controller medication can cause hoarseness or a mouth infection called thrush. To reduce the chance of this happening use a spacer device and rinse your mouth after taking your controller inhaler.


Combination Inhalers

Some people may be prescribed a combination inhaler. Combination inhalers give you a dose of a reliever medication and a dose of controller medication at the same time.

What is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease(COPD)?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is the name for a collection of lung diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. People with COPD have trouble breathing in and out. This is referred to as airflow obstruction.

Breathing difficulties are caused by long-term damage to the lungs, usually because of smoking.

How common is COPD?

COPD is one of the most common respiratory diseases in Ireland. It usually affects people over the age of 35.

Around 110,000 people in Ireland have been diagnosed with COPD, but it is thought that there are about 2 00,000 people living with the disease who have not been diagnosed. This is because many people who develop the symptoms of COPD do not get medical help because they often dismiss their symptoms as a 'smoker's cough'.

COPD affects more men than women. However, according to the Irish Thoracic Society, rates of COPD in women are increasing.

The main cause of COPD is smoking. The likelihood of developing COPD increases the more you smoke and the longer you've been smoking.

The effects of COPD

People with COPD have trouble breathing in and out, known as airflow obstruction. Their lungs become inflamed due to irritation, usually from cigarette smoke.

Over many years, the inflammation leads to permanent changes in the lung. The walls of the airways get thicker in response to the inflammation and more mucus is produced. Damage to the delicate walls of the air sacs in the lungs means the lungs lose their normal elasticity. It becomes much harder to breathe, especially when you exert yourself. The changes in the lungs cause the symptoms of breathlessness, cough and phlegm associated with COPD.

Although any damage that has already occurred to your lungs cannot be reversed, you can prevent COPD from developing or getting worse by making lifestyle changes.

Treatment for COPD usually involves relieving the symptoms, for example by using an inhaler to make breathing easier.

Although COPD causes about 1,500 deaths a year in Ireland, severe COPD can be prevented by making changes to your lifestyle.

Treating COPD

If you suffer from COPD there are a range of treatments available that we will recommend:

  • Stop smoking
  • Inhalers
  • Short-acting bronchodilator inhalers
  • Long-acting bronchodilator inhalers
  • Steroid inhalers
  • Medicines
  • Other types of treatment (such as nebulisers, long term oxygen therapy, non-invasive ventilation etc.)
  • Surgery

Treating a flare-up

A flare-up is when your symptoms are particularly bad. If you have a flare-up of your COPD symptoms, you may be advised to increase the dose of the treatments you usually take. For example, you may need to increase the dose of your inhalers or tablets. Some people may need to use a spacer or a nebuliser for their inhaled therapy.

You may also need to take extra treatments during the flare-up, such as adding a further inhaler or tablet to what you usually take. It is common to take a short course of antibiotics or steroid tablets during a flare-up.

Some people need to go into hospital for more intensive treatment during a flare-up. Other people are treated with 'hospital at home' schemes, where experienced health professionals come to their home regularly. Your healthcare team will recommend the type of care that is best for you.

Research has shown that 'hospital at home' works as well as hospital admission in improving people's condition, and that people with COPD prefer it.


If you are having a very bad flare-up, you may have to go into hospital.

In hospital, you are likely to receive oxygen, antibiotics (if necessary) and a nebuliser to help ease your symptoms.

People with COPD who have severe breathing difficulties during a flare-up and who are admitted to hospital may need non-invasive ventilation (NIV) through a mask to help them breathe more easily. In the most severe cases, admission to an intensive care unit for treatment with an artificial breathing machine (ventilator) may be necessary.


Everyone should see or talk to a healthcare professional after they have recovered from a flare-up, to check on their current condition and review their treatment options. It may take up to three months to complete your recovery and your cough and phlegm may take a few weeks to settle, even after any infection has been treated.

Self-management plan

If you have frequent flare-ups, you may be given a self-management plan by your healthcare team. This is a written plan of action, agreed by you and your doctor, for what to do as soon as a flare-up develops. For example, it may contain advice on how to increase the dose of inhalers.

Some patients may be given steroid tablets or antibiotics to have 'on standby' so that they can start taking them as soon as a flare-up starts.

We may also arrange for emergency appointments or telephone prescriptions when you have a flare-up.

What is Coronary Heart Disease?

Coronary heart disease is the term that describes what happens when your heart's blood supply is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances in the coronary arteries.

Over time, the walls of your arteries can become furred up with fatty deposits. This process is known as atherosclerosis and the fatty deposits are called atheroma. If your coronary arteries become narrow due to a build-up of atheroma, the blood supply to your heart will be restricted. This can cause angina (chest pains).

If a coronary artery becomes completely blocked, it can cause a heart attack. The medical term for a heart attack is myocardial infarction.

By making some simple lifestyle changes, you can reduce your risk of getting CHD. If you already have heart disease, you can take steps to reduce your risk of developing further heart-related problems. Keeping your heart healthy will also have other health benefits, and help reduce your risk of stroke and dementia.

Diagnosis of Coronary Heart Disease

If we think you may be at risk of developing coronary heart disease (CHD), they may carry out a risk assessment for cardiovascular disease, heart attack or stroke. 

We will ask about your medical and family history, check your blood pressure and do a blood test to assess your cholesterol level.

Before having the cholesterol test, you may be asked not to eat for 12 hours so there is no food in your body that could affect the result. We can carry out the blood test and will take a sample either using a needle and a syringe or by pricking your finger.

We will also ask about your lifestyle, how much exercise you do and whether you smoke. All these factors will be considered as part of the diagnosis.

To confirm a suspected diagnosis you may be referred for more tests. A number of different tests are used to diagnose heart-related problems including:

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • X-Rays
  • Echocardiogram
  • Blood Tests
  • Coronary Angiography
  • Radionuclide Tests 
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Treating Coronary Heart Disease

If you have been diagnosed with CHD, we can help you reduce your risk of further episodes by recommending treatments:

  • Lifestyle changes (stopping smoking, eating healthier etc.)
  • Medicines
  • ACE (angiotension-converting enzyme) inhibitors
  • Angiotension II receptor antagonists
  • Calcium Channel Blockers
  • Thiazide diuretics
  • Beta Blockers
  • Statins
  • Low-dose aspirin
  • Nitrates
  • Procedures and surgery

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes can be a lifelong condition that causes a person's blood sugar level to become too high. Find out how you can manage your diabetes and what you need to do to lead a healthy life.

Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes causes the level of glucose (sugar) in your blood to become too high.

It happens when your body cannot produce enough of a hormone called insulin which controls blood glucose. You need daily injections of insulin to keep your blood glucose levels under control.

Managing Type 1 diabetes can take time to get used to, but you can still do all the things you enjoy.

Different factors, including genetics and some viruses, may contribute to Type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition. This is where the body's immune system attacks and destroys the cells that produce insulin

Type 1 diabetes can be diagnosed at any age.

Diagnosing Type 1 Diabetes

Symptoms of diabetes can include:

  • feeling very thirsty
  • peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling very tired
  • losing weight without trying
  • thrush that keeps coming back
  • blurred vision
  • cuts and grazes that are not healing

Type 1 diabetes symptoms can come on quickly, particularly in children.

Getting tested for Type 1 diabetes

We will do a urine test and may check your blood glucose (sugar) level. If we think you might have Type 1 diabetes, we will advise you to go to hospital straight away for an assessment.

You'll stay in hospital until you get the blood test results. This is usually the same day if you are well enough.

If you are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, a diabetes nurse will show you the things you need to do to start managing it, such as testing your own blood glucose and how to inject insulin.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a condition that causes the level of glucose (sugar) in the blood to become higher than normal.

It can be serious if not looked after but it is very treatable and for some people can be prevented or delayed.

Type 2 diabetes is caused by problems with a hormone in the body called insulin.

Insulin controls the amount of glucose (sugar) in the blood, keeping it at healthy levels. Insulin is produced by the pancreas - a gland behind the stomach.

Type 2 diabetes occurs when blood glucose stays too high. This can happen when the body does not produce enough insulin. It can also happen when the body cannot properly use the insulin it produces.

We get glucose from the carbohydrates in our food and drinks. Normally glucose enters our bloodstream, our pancreas makes insulin and our insulin then allows the glucose to move into the body's cells to be used for energy. If we cannot make enough insulin, or if our insulin is not working properly, the glucose cannot enter the cells around the body. It stays in the blood and blood glucose levels become higher than normal.

Diagnosing Type 2 Diabetes

The most common signs and symptoms of undiagnosed or poorly managed Type 2 diabetes include:

  • feeling thirsty all the time - drinking excessive amounts of liquids or unable to quench your thirst
  • peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • feeling tired, lack of energy, sleeping more than usual
  • losing weight without trying to
  • frequent infections, cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • numbness, pain or tingling in your hands or feet
  • blurred vision
  • itching around the penis or vagina, or frequent episodes of thrush

You're more at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes if you:

  • are over 45
  • have a close relative with diabetes such as a parent, brother or sister
  • are an adult who is overweight or obese
  • have a diagnosis of pre-diabetes
  • had gestational diabetes during pregnancy
  • are physically inactive - for example, if you take less than 30 minutes of physical activity most days
  • have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol or high triglycerides
  • have a history of heart disease
  • have a medical condition that requires long-term steroid use
  • are a member of the travelling community
  • are of south Asian, Chinese, Hispanic, African Caribbean or black African origin
  • have haemochromatosis - storing too much iron in your body
  • are a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Treating Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a serious but treatable condition.

You need to look after your health and have regular check-ups. If diabetes is poorly treated it can cause other health problems such as:

  • heart disease and stroke
  • vision loss and blindness
  • foot problems – like sores and infections
  • loss of feeling and pain (nerve damage)
  • problems with your kidneys or liver
  • risks to a healthy pregnancy such as premature delivery, miscarriage and stillbirth

Early diagnosis and treatment can reduce the development of potential health problems. Many people have Type 2 diabetes and do not realise it. It is often not diagnosed until health problems start to appear.

Regular check-ups allow us to check how well your treatment is working.

We will:

  • discuss the best treatment options with you
  • talk about your symptoms
  • discuss your medicines
  • talk to you about any other issues that might be impacting on your diabetes

What Cervical Screening is

A cervical screening test checks the health of your cervix. The cervix is the opening to your womb from your vagina.

It's not a test for cancer, it's a test to help prevent cancer from developing.

Screening first looks to see if you have any of the high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer.

If HPV is found, your same test sample will be checked to see if you have any abnormal (pre-cancerous) cells in your cervix.

This is a new way of screening. It is called HPV cervical screening. It was introduced in Ireland in March 2020.

HPV cervical screening:

  • is a better way of cervical screening
  • prevents more cancers
  • means some people will have fewer tests

If you have had a smear test in the past, having a cervical screening test will feel the same.

Key things to know about cervical screening

  • It's not a test for cancer, it's a test to help prevent cancer from developing.
  • All people with a cervix aged 25 to 65 should be invited for regular free screening by letter.
  • During the screening test, a small sample of cells is taken from your cervix.
  • The sample is tested for human papillomavirus (HPV).
  • HPV can cause abnormal cell changes in the cervix.
  • HPV is the main cause of cervical cancer.
  • If your sample tests positive for HPV, we will check for abnormal cells.
  • Abnormal cell changes are sometimes called pre-cancerous cells.
  • In most cases, it takes 10 to 15 years for cells in the cervix to go from normal to pre-cancer to cancer.
  • Finding HPV or abnormal cells early means you can be monitored or treated so they do not turn into cervical cancer.
  • You'll get your results by letter, usually about 4 to 6 weeks after your screening test.

What happens at a Cervical Screening Test appointment?

During cervical screening a small sample of cells is taken from your cervix for testing.

The test itself should take less than 5 minutes. The whole appointment should take about 15 minutes.

You will be able to:

  • ask for a female GP or nurse to take your screening test
  • have a friend or family member in the room with you

Before your cervical screening test

It's useful to bring your Personal Public Service (PPS) number with you. This will help us to make sure we identify your correct records so that we can keep them up-to-date.

Before starting, we will explain what will happen during the test.

You should be told:

  • that your sample will be tested for HPV first – this is because of HPV cervical screening
  • the benefits and limitations of screening
  • the screening test process
  • how your data will be shared
  • to sign a consent form

If you have never had penetrative sex, you may find the test uncomfortable. Discuss this with us. We are there to help you feel comfortable.

Things that can make the test easier

Things you can try that might make the test better for you include:

  • wearing something you can leave on during the test, like a skirt or long jumper
  • bringing someone with you for support
  • taking slow, deep breaths to help you relax
  • asking us to use a smaller speculum
  • asking us about lying in a different position

Things to look out for after cervical screening

You may have some spotting or light bleeding after your test. This is very common and should go away in a few hours.

You’ll be asked to give consent each time you have a screening test by signing a form called a cervical screening form.

You'll be given the form at your appointment. You should be given time before your screening test to read it.

If you would like to see the form, you can download the cervical screening form (PDF, 3 pages, 500KB) here.

Only you can give your consent.

This is to confirm that you:

  • have been told about cervical screening and its benefits and limitations
  • understand this information
  • have checked that your name, address and other details are correct
  • allow us to receive, hold and exchange your personal information with those who deliver the programme

If you cannot sign the form, you will be asked to give your consent either verbally or by making a mark on the form.

You can withdraw your consent at any time. Contact the Cervical Check Helpline on freephone 1800 45 45 55 or email:

Before signing the form, ask us any questions you have. This will help you give informed consent.

You should understand:

  • the benefits and limitations of screening
  • the possibility that your sample may also be tested for abnormal cells
  • the likelihood and meaning of a normal result
  • what it means if you are called back for further tests
  • when and how you will get your result
  • how your data will be shared with those delivering the programme

Most of this information will be given to you with the consent form.

Only sign the consent form when you feel you have all the information you need to make an informed decision.


There are many methods of contraception available to women and men. It’s important to choose contraception that fits your situation and lifestyle.
It’s always a good idea to discuss your contraceptive choices with your GP, as you may need to experiment to find what works best for you.

Remember too that using ‘dual protection’ (condoms with another method of contraception) will help you to have safer sex. Plan ahead and carry contraception with you as the most common reason why people do not use contraception is because they had sex when they weren’t planning to or when they were unprepared.

Condoms offer the best protection from both an unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Vaccinating your baby will protect them from some serious or even fatal diseases. This is sometimes called immunising or immunisation.

How vaccines work

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect your baby against certain infectious diseases. These diseases can cause serious illness or even death.

When your child gets a vaccine, their body responds by making antibodies. It's as if they had caught the disease, but without getting sick.

The antibodies then stay in your child's body and protect them against the actual disease.

Vaccine safety

As a parent, you might not like the fact that your baby has to get an injection.

But remember, vaccinations:

  • are quick, safe and effective
  • protect your baby from disease

If you don't vaccinate your child, there is a chance they could become very ill, or even die. This can happen if they catch one of the diseases that the vaccines protect them from.

Be ready with a feed or a hug for your baby and the vaccination will be forgotten soon afterwards.

Vaccines your child will get

At 2 months

  • PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)
  • MenB vaccine (meningococcal B vaccine)
  • Rotavirus oral vaccine
  • 6-in-1 vaccine

6-in-1 vaccine

  • Diphtheria
  • Tetanus
  • Whooping cough (pertussis)
  • Hib (Haemophilus influenzae b)
  • Polio (inactivated poliomyelitis)
  • Hepatitis B

At 4 months

  • 6-in-1 vaccine
  • MenB vaccine (meningococcal B vaccine)
  • Rotavirus oral vaccine

At 6 months

  • 6-in-1 vaccine
  • PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)
  • MenC vaccine (meningococcal C vaccine)

At 12 months

  • MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)
  • MenB vaccine (meningococcal B vaccine)

At 13 months

  • Hib/MenC (Haemophilus influenzae b and meningococcal C combined vaccine)
  • PCV (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)

The HSE's National Immunisation Office has more information on your child's vaccines and immunisation schedule.

Flu vaccine

Children aged 2 to 12 can now get the nasal flu vaccine for free.

The flu vaccine will help protect your child against flu and reduce the spread of flu to others. For example their brothers and sisters, parents and grandparents.

Vaccine side effects

Common side effects after vaccination are redness, soreness or swelling where your baby got their injection. Your baby might also become irritable.

Fever is a common side effect after MenB vaccination at 2 and 4 months. Liquid infant paracetamol should be given straight after the vaccine.

Side effects from the vaccines are usually mild and do not last very long.

We provide a range of services for couples looking to start a family including:

  • Planning for pregnancy
  • What to expect and health advice
  • Common conditions

Getting Pregnant

We provide advice for couples planning to get pregnant including

  • Vaccines you should get before you get pregnant
  • How to improve your chances of getting pregnant
  • Signs and symptoms of pregnancy
  • Sex when trying to get pregnant
  • Pregnancy tests
  • What to eat while trying to get pregnant
  • Coming off contraception to get pregnant
  • Fertility problems and treatments.

We provide a range of services and advice for the period your pregnancy including:

  • Pregnancy Health( lifestyle changes, healthy eating, alcohol, smoking etc.)
  • Pregnancy Related Conditions (breathlessness, chest pains, fatigue)
  • Stages of Pregnancy(what to expect in each trimester)
  • Preparing for birth
  • Pregnancy services(blood tests, vaccines)

The seasonal flu vaccine (flu jab) protects against 4 strains of flu virus. These are the strains most likely to be circulating this flu season.

The vaccine is available every year to adults and children at risk of flu and its complications.

You need to get a new vaccine every Autumn. This is because the strains of the flu virus change. This is why it is called seasonal flu. But people commonly call it flu.

You should get your flu vaccine during the Autumn, to be covered for flu season.

Flu vaccine is recommended

Some people are more at risk of getting complications if they catch flu.

You can get the flu vaccine for free if you:

  • are 65 years of age and over
  • are pregnant
  • are a child aged 2 to 17 years (new for 2020/2021)
  • are an adult or child aged 6 months or older with a long-term health condition like
    • chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
    • chronic liver disease
    • chronic renal failure
    • chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma or bronchopulmonary dysplasia
    • chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system
    • diabetes mellitus
    • haemoglobinopathies
    • morbid obesity i.e. body mass index (BMI) over 40
    • immunosuppression due to disease or treatment (including treatment for cancer)
    • are a child with a moderate to severe neurodevelopmental disorder such as cerebral palsy
  • were born with Down syndrome
  • live in a nursing home or other long-term care facility

Some people should get the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and those they care for.

These include those who:

  • work in healthcare
  • are a carer or live with someone who is at risk of flu because of a long-term health condition
  • are a carer or live with someone who has Down syndrome

People who are in regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl should get the flu vaccine.

If you are in an at-risk group, you should get the flu vaccine during Autumn.

How the flu vaccine works

The flu vaccine helps your immune system to produce antibodies (proteins that fight infection). If you have had the flu vaccine and you come into contact with the flu virus, the vaccine can stop you from getting sick

The flu vaccine starts to work within 2 weeks.

You need to have the flu vaccine every year. This is because the antibodies that protect you decline over time. Flu strains can also change from year to year.

Safe and effective flu vaccine

Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to help protect yourself from getting the flu.

It will not stop all flu viruses and the level of protection may vary. So it's not a 100% effective and you may still get flu.

But if you do get flu after you have the vaccine, it's likely to be milder and you will recover more quickly.

Flu vaccines usually reduce the risk of infection by 40-60%.

Flu vaccines also reduce:

  • the severity of illness
  • complications from influenza
  • flu-related hospitalisations
  • admissions to critical care units

Flu vaccines have been given to millions of people worldwide for over 60 years, including pregnant women. Reactions to the vaccine are generally mild.

There is no aluminium, thiomersal, mercury, gelatin or porcine gelatin in the Quadrivalent Inactivated Influneza vaccine used in the 2020/2021 campaign.

There are very small amounts of gelatin/porcine gelatin in the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (Fluenz) for children aged 2-17 years old. Gelatin is used as a stabiliser and is different from gelatin found in food as it is processed and broken down into small fragments.

All medicines, including flu vaccines, require licensing by the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Any harmful effects should be reported to the HPRA.

Flu vaccine side effects

You may have a mild fever and aching muscles for a couple of days after having the vaccine. Your arm may also be a bit sore where you got the injection.

Serious side effects of the flu vaccine are very rare.

When you should not get the flu vaccine

You should not get the flu vaccine if you:

  • have had a severe allergic (anaphylaxis) reaction to a previous flu vaccine or any part of the vaccine.
  • are taking medicines called combination checkpoint inhibitors, for example, ipilimumab plus nivolumab
  • are ill with a temperature greater than 38 degrees Celsius - you should wait until you are well before getting the vaccine.
  • If you have an egg allergy, you should talk to your GP about getting the vaccine.

The 2020 / 2021 flu vaccine

This year's seasonal flu vaccine contains protection against 4 strains of flu virus. These are recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) as the strains most likely to be circulating this season.

The four strains are:

  • an A/Guangdong-Maonan/SWL1536/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus
  • an A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus
  • a B/Phuket/3073/2013 (B/Yamagata lineage)-like virus

The 2020/2021 HSE seasonal vaccination programme will offer 2 vaccines

  • the Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (split virion, inactivated) manufactured by Sanofi Pasteur for people with long term conditions.
  • the Fluenz Tetra nasal spray suspension Influenza vaccine (live attenuated, nasal) manufactured by AstraZeneca AB for children aged 2 to 12 years

Before travelling abroad, ensure that you and your family/companions are up to date with their routine vaccination schedule including MMR. We provide more specific advice on travel vaccinations, depending on your destination.

If traveling to a remote location we recommend getting your vaccines checked six months in advance.

Regular Blood Pressure tests are extremely important.

Blood pressure

Blood pressure is a measure of the force of the blood on the walls of the arteries as the blood flows through them. It is measured in millimetres of mercury (mmHg).

When your blood pressure is measured, two measurements are recorded during a single heartbeat. The two measurements are known as the systolic pressure and the diastolic pressure.

  • Systolic pressure is the pressure when your heart beats and squeezes blood into your arteries. At this stage, the pressure in your arteries is at its highest.
  • Diastolic pressure is the pressure when your heart rests in between beats and the blood flows back to your heart through your veins. At this stage, the pressure in your arteries is at its lowest.

Your blood pressure reading will be given as two numbers, with your systolic reading first, followed by your diastolic reading. If your systolic blood pressure is 120 mmHg, and your diastolic blood pressure is 80 mmHg, your blood pressure is 120 over 80, which is commonly written as 120/80.

High Blood Pressure

Around 30-40% of people in Ireland have high blood pressure but many don't know it. If left untreated, high blood pressure increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke vascular disease and kidney failure.

The only way of knowing there is a problem is to have your blood pressure measured.

All adults should have their blood pressure checked at least every five years. If you haven't had yours measured, or you don't know what your blood pressure reading is, ask your us to check it for you.

Your chances of having high blood pressure increase as you get older. There is often no clear cause of high blood pressure but you are at increased risk if you:

  • are overweight
  • have a relative with high blood pressure
  • are of African or Caribbean descent
  • eat a lot of salt
  • don't eat many fruit and vegetables
  • don't take enough exercise
  • drink a lot of alcohol

If you fall into any of the groups listed above, you should consider making changes to your lifestyle to lower your risk of high blood pressure. You should also consider having your blood pressure checked more often, ideally once a year especially if you are over 60 years of age.

Prevention and treatment

You can take effective steps to prevent high blood pressure by:

  • losing weight if you need to
  • exercising regularly
  • eating a healthy diet
  • cutting back if you drink a lot of alcohol
  • stopping smoking
  • cutting down on salt and caffeine

If your blood pressure is found to be high, it will need to be closely monitored until it is brought under control. We will usually suggest changes to your lifestyle but will also usually have to prescribe medication to achieve this.

Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure is also known as hypotension. People with a reading of around 90/60 or less are commonly regarded as having low blood pressure. If you have low blood pressure, you do have some protection against factors that increase blood pressure, such as eating too much salt, not eating enough fruit and vegetables or being overweight. You also have some protection against the diseases caused by high blood pressure.

Some people who have low blood pressure experience symptoms as a result of it. There may be an underlying cause that could need treatment.

Symptoms of low blood pressure

On its own, low blood pressure (hypotension) does not always cause symptoms. If you have low blood pressure, and you do not have any symptoms, you do not require treatment.

However, low blood pressure can sometimes mean that there is not enough blood flowing to your brain and other vital organs. As a result, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • dizziness
  • fainting (a sudden, temporary loss of consciousness) 
  • light-headedness
  • blurred vision
  • palpitations (a rapid, or irregular, heart beat)
  • confusion
  • nausea (feeling like you are going to be sick)
  • general weakness

If you experience the symptoms of hypotension after changing positions, for example, standing up, it is known as postural, or orthostatic, hypotension. If you experience these symptoms after eating, it is known as postprandial hypotension.

If you have low blood pressure (hypotension) but you do not have any symptoms, you do not require treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms, we will try to establish the underlying cause of your hypotension in order to determine what treatment is necessary. These can include:

  • Medication
  • Fluids and Salts
  • General Advice(avoiding caffeine, limiting alcohol intake, diet etc.)

A blood test is when a sample of blood is taken for testing in a laboratory. Blood tests have a wide range of uses and are one of the most common types of medical test. For example, a blood test can be used to:

  • assess your general state of health
  • confirm the presence of a bacterial or viral infection
  • see how well certain organs, such as the liver and kidneys, are functioning

Taking a blood sample

A blood test usually involves taking a blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm. The arm is a convenient part of the body to use because it can be easily uncovered. The usual place for a sample is the inside of the elbow or wrist, where the veins are relatively close to the surface.

Blood samples from children are usually taken from the back of the hand. The child's hand may be anaesthetised (numbed) with a special cream before the sample is taken.

A tight band (tourniquet) is usually put around your upper arm. This squeezes the arm, temporarily slowing down the flow of blood out of the arm, and causing the vein to swell with blood. This makes it easier for a blood sample to be taken.

Before taking the sample, the doctor or nurse may need to wipe the area with an antiseptic wipe, although this is not always necessary.

A needle attached to a syringe or to a special blood collecting container is pushed into the vein. The syringe is used to draw out a sample of your blood. You may feel a slight pricking sensation as the needle goes in, but it should not be painful. If you do not like needles and injections, tell the person who is taking the sample so they can make you more comfortable. If you feel you might faint, lie down.

When the sample has been taken, the needle will be removed. Pressure is applied to the tiny break in the skin for a few minutes using a cotton wool pad to stop the bleeding and to prevent bruising. A plaster may then be put on the small wound to keep it clean and prevent infection.

After the test

After the blood sample has been taken, it will be put into a bottle and labelled with your name. It will then be sent to a laboratory where it will be examined under a microscope or tested with chemicals, depending on what is being checked. The results are sent back to the hospital or to your GP, and you will be told when and how you will be given them.

Sometimes, receiving results can be stressful and upsetting. If you are worried about the outcome of a test, you may choose to take a trusted friend or relative with you. For some tests, such as HIV, you will be offered specialist counselling to help you deal with your results.

What Blood Tests are used for

Some widely used blood tests are:

  • Full Blood Count (FBC)
  • Electrolyte test
  • Blood Glucose test
  • Blood Gas test
  • Genetic Testing
  • Blood Typing
  • Blood Cholesterol test
  • Liver Function Test

At Castleview Medical Centre we provide dietery advice for you and your family.

We can advise on healthy eating, nutrition plans and how healthy eating can help you and your family's health.

We provide tips and can help you plan your diet to increase your health and to help reduce your chances of becoming overweight or developing conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.

Healthy eating is also very important for your mental health and wellbeing. Eating correctly and being active are very important for our mind as well as our body and health.

We can provide you with the means to help you or a family member quit smoking.

Reasons to quit smoking

There are lots of good reasons to stop smoking. Smoking is bad for you - 1 in every 2 smokers worldwide will die of a tobacco-related disease.

The health benefits of quitting start right away. You’ll also be protecting your family from secondhand smoke. Smoking won’t dictate your daily routine, and it’ll be easier to keep your home and car clean.

When you stop smoking, you will:

  • reduce your risk of life-threatening diseases
  • save money - use our savings calculator to find out how much
  • have better skin, teeth and hair
  • have nicer smelling clothes
  • improve the air quality in your home
  • be a good role model for your family and friends

Getting ready to stop smoking

Once you or your family member has decided to stop smoking we can help you prepare to quit.

We can help you create a plan for quitting and prepare you for the withdrawals, cravings etc. The most important thing is to remember that quitting is not only better for your health but also the health of those around you.

We provide minor surgery, joint injections, cryotherapy and more