Although often associated with women, the most common problems of the urinary system affect both men and women. Photograph: iStock

While many urinary conditions are not harmful they can impact quality of life

Visits by other households to your garden are still not allowed. File photograph: Getty Images

Ten things you might be planning for the weekend and whether they are allowed

Human bio-monitoring studies in the EU have found a growing number of different hazardous chemicals in human blood and body tissue. Photograph: iStock

Move aims to address gaps in the regulation of chemicals in products on EU market

The making of the Galway Hospice Foundation project Meallan Scéal Scéal Eile, or One Story Encourages Another.

Irish Hospice Foundation has given grants to individuals and communities to find new ways to express and share loss

There are currently four Covid-19 vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson – available for use in Ireland

Explainer: The best vaccine is the one that you are offered, say public-health doctors

Ecologist Padraic Fogarty is streaming free weekly episodes of his new book, Shaping New Mountains, on the Irish Wildlife Trust website.

Campaigner says we have been conned by ‘capitalist system that doesn’t serve nature or people’

The HSE Vaccination Centre at the Aviva Stadium, Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

When will I be vaccinated and why hasn’t it happened yet? 10 key questions answered

As current vaccines might not work for variants which haven’t even arrived in Ireland yet, you begin to understand that we are further from the end of the pandemic than it might seem.

Dr Eoghan de Barra outlines what the healthcare future might hold for us

Dr Niall Conroy, director of public health in Wide Bay, Queensland.

Irish-born consultant credits the country’s strict hotel quarantining and free walk-in testing for suppressing virus

Louise Lynam and her daughter Kiera, who has cystic fibrosis: Louise  was very worried about bringing Covid home as she works in a hospital emergency department.

Living and working with CF during the coronavirus pandemic

 In Spain, classes are conducted following all the distance and safety measures including mandatory face masks and open windows, while the country is in the third wave of Covid-19. Photograph: Xurxo Lobato/Getty Images

Parents and teachers have raised questions about the quality of ventilation in classrooms to protect against Covid-19

The delicate tissues of our lungs are directly connected to the outside environment and anything we breathe in will affect them. Photograph: iStock

Good asthma control can eliminate flare-ups and reduce symptoms, allowing patients to live life to the full

Neuroscientist  Sabina Brennan: “I argue that if you look after your brain health, physical and mental health will follow.”

Fuzzy thinking can often be dismissed by doctors, says neuroscientist Sabina Brennan

‘Fibre is the main nutrient source for our gut bacteria.’ Photograph: iStock

Foods high in fibre and rich in probiotics are key to boosting digestion and health

We focus on 16 transformative ideas with the potential to enhance Irish society – so that when we go back, we also move forward. Photograph: Getty

When Ireland returns to normal, it should be a better place than it used to be

 Ms Catherine Moran, Ireland’s first female consultant neurosurgeon, in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘I have a role to encourage other women into this specialty,’ says Catherine Moran

Sinéad Brophy

Classes include yoga, Pilates, pregnancy movement and post-natal workout

A comfortable, well fitting mask that covers your nose, mouth and chin is the best one to wear. Photograph: Getty Images

Fine weather has seen large numbers venturing outdoors, yet the infection rate is still high

Giving someone a lift in your car without knowing whether you or the passenger has Covid-19 is a potentially risky scenario so it’s best to politely refuse.

Covid-19: It's easy to suddenly find yourself in a risky situation. Not so easy to wriggle out of it

We start losing muscle and bone strength every year after the age of 30. Image: iStock

Part three of a series where health professionals share their tips for a healthy lifestyle

Domhnall Mac a Bháird: “One needs to be very aware of feeling different in any way after having an operation because something could be going on in the background.”

Under-diagnosis of other diseases is a growing concern as doctors battle Covid-19

A nurse prepares a syringe with the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 vaccine at the Emile Muller hospital in Mulhouse, eastern France, January 2021. Photograph: Sebastien Bozon/ AFP via Getty Images

French taxi drivers will be early vaccine recipients. Some US teachers already got theirs

Full waiting rooms, with people thumbing through magazines and children handling toys, are not ideal places for sick people to be. Photograph: iStock

Waiting rooms full of patients spreading their viruses will be a thing of the past

Dara McAnulty (16), author of Dairy of a Young Naturalist

People with autism ‘don’t bite – much’, says teenage naturalist Dara McAnulty

Prof Luke O’Neill, Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw / The Irish Times

‘If nobody left their house for three weeks, the virus would go away but that’s impossible’

 US president Joe Biden has spoken several times about his lifelong experience with stammering. Photograph: Matt Slocum/AP

A new approach encourages us to embrace the way people with a stammer speak

 Edith Eger: “I’m not a victim. I was victimised. It’s not who I am, It was what was done to me.”

The Holocaust survivor shared her life’s wisdom at The Irish Times Winter Nights Festival

Sonia O’Sullivan:  “I was determined to make things work which is what enabled me to be successful. Nothing would stop me.” Photograph:  Julian Finney/Getty Images

Athlete gave whistle-stop tour of life on opening night of Irish Times Winter Nights festival

Gardaí conducted an operation in the uplands of Wicklow last weekend, to stop people going there in breach of the 5km rule. Vehicles were  towed away for illegal parking and blocking access

Don’t meet friends or loved ones. Avoid busy outdoor areas. Wear masks, even outdoors

Forthcoming legislation is expected to oblige water companies to monitor the levels of microplastics in drinking water. File photograph: iStock

Irish researchers helping international effort to close knowledge gap

Keep your heart healthy with these tips from the heart experts. Photograph: iStock

Health professionals share their tips for a healthy lifestyle

Four out of five people suffer from back pain at some stage in their lives

There is not one ‘safe’ or ‘proper’ way to sit when it comes to back pain

‘It’s tragic that we have to structure exercise into our lives instead of simply walking to school, walking to the shops and carrying bags home.’ File photograph: Getty

‘Younger women need to be aware of starting their CervicalCheck screening when they are 25’

There is help available for those seeking to quit smoking. Photograph: iStock

Better health to big savings: the benefits of quitting cigarettes are well-documented

‘Meal planning and preparing foods in advance can help take away the temptation of takeaways’

New anthology marks wisdom and resilience of geriatrics

All proceeds of new anthology of poems, edited by geriatricians, will go to age-related charities

Yule be glad. Cutlery and crockery should not be shared between guests, in order to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19 from an infected person who might not even be showing symptoms. Photograph: iStock

Make Christmas merrier this year by taking extra care

A Plan International study on young females in Ireland found that almost 50 per cent of girls aged between 12 and 19 found it difficult to pay for sanitary products

Scotland recently became the first country in the world to make period products free – will Ireland follow suit?

Professional singer Liz Ryan now runs Tea Dance Tunes from home. The National Concert Hall’s Tea Dance Tunes are lively, interactive online concerts of favourite songs and music for people living with dementia, their carers and families. Tea Dance Tunes continues weekly until December 16th. See

The NCH’s Tea Dance Tunes on Zoom are bringing music into homes and care facilities

“We have to make sure that we are the oracle on scientific information about vaccines,” says European Medicines Agency chief Emer Cooke.

Dubliner Emer Cooke is first woman to hold the job of European Medicines Agency chief

Karen and Justin Morton at Killakee Christmas Tree Farm in the Dublin mountains. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

The practice of bringing trees indoors in Ireland and Britain dates to Victorian times

Caitlin Somers, right, with mentor Paul Keegan via video call  and  youth work team leader Erin Ballesty, left, at YMCA  Aungier Street. Photograph: Alan Betson

Mentoring programme ‘gives young people a safe space to articulate their feelings’

The vaccine is sprayed into each nostril and is free to healthy children aged two to 12. Photograph: Getty Images

Immunising children will also protect adults, says Dr Nuala O’Connor

Members of the Irish Doctors Choir participating in rehearsals via Zoom.

In advance of its virtual concert on Nov 29th, members of the Irish Doctors Choir enthuse about the impact of a vital social outle(...)

Students  take part in a ‘no idling’ campaign as part of Clean Air Week 2019

Clean Air Week seeks to highlight traffic pollutants caused by cars at schools

Research from Trinity College Dublin shows 30 per cent of people aged 80 and over had a smartphone or tablet in May. Photograph: iStock

Missing contact details pose challenge for Covid-19 testing and contact-tracing systems

Students from St Leo’s College, Convent of Mercy in Carlow won third prize at the Young Social Innovators for their project on raising awareness around domestic violence

Lazy and entitled? Not these millennials, whose projects display concern for others

Two large surveying vessels, including the Celtic Explorer, bring scientists out to survey waters beyond 30 nautical miles off the Irish coastline. Photograph: David Branigan/Oceansport

Infomar project, to be completed by 2026, will help predict impact of storms and floods

Fungie the Dingle Dolphin in 1987

Ronan Quinlan’s photos helped make the now missing Dingle dolphin a household name

Working mothers have been more burdened by childcare and eldercare than their male colleagues. Photograph: iStock

Women in the Workplace report reveals the gender imbalance of working from home

Due to cocooning some people  have a greater fear of falling because they haven’t been moving  much.

Covid-19 restrictions and frailty combine to reduce mobility of older people

Photograph: Getty Images

What to do – and what not do – before six weeks of restrictions kick in on Wednesday night

The study, published by the Royal Society, also found that being exposed to information about the novel coronavirus on social media is associated with higher susceptibility to misinformation in Ireland, the UK and the USA. Photo-illustration: iStock

Researchers surveyed people in Ireland, the UK, Spain, the USA and Mexico

Gerard O’Leary (left) and Diarmuid O’Connell: ‘I’m not medically trained, but it was great to be able to help out a friend,’ says O’Leary.

Diarmuid O’Connell was saved by a defibrillator after he collapsed during a game

Halloween understandably remains a highlight of most children’s year.

This year will be ‘different’, says Simon Harris. Here’s how to have a good time safely

Music therapist and researcher Katie Fitzpatrick with fellow researcher, Steve Ryan, at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance University of Limerick.

‘I found the therapy fun; you need more fun in your life when you suffer from chronic pain’

Once  workers  return to work, there will be a whole new set of concerns about hygiene (cleanliness of desks, canteens, toilets and air ventilation systems) and communications (interacting safely during face-to-face meetings and in open-plan offices). Photograph: iStock

Mental health guide aims to tackle workers’ anxiety about office life and Covid

 Wesley College students Grace Harbison, Daisy Forte-O’Hanlon, Craig Mackay, Raheem Olatunde, Bosola Ojewale, Ruby Meira, Charlotte Dougherty, Amy Stratford and Chris Bailey in historic school uniforms to celebrate the 175th anniversary of their school. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Wesley College's past pupils include George Bernard Shaw, singer Florence Forsyth and prize-winning swimmer Reginald Arthur Dench

Visualise an imagined future time – such as a holiday or a party – to give yourself a sense of relief for a few minutes

Four mental-health experts on how to cope with the limited lives we’ve been asked to lead

The new children’s food pyramid. Illustration: Paul Scott/The Irish Times

Treats only once a week and plates should be small, according to Government guidelines

 10,000 men, women and children take part in the 9th annual Great Pink Run raising over €600,000 to support Breast Cancer Ireland’s metastatic research. Photograph: Alan Betson /

Prof Arnie Hill speaks about the advances in breast cancer treatment in the last 10 years

‘It’s important to communicate well with children and teenagers during this time of uncertainty.’

Panel of mental health experts offer tips on how to live with the new normal

English and philosophy teacher Patrick Murtagh with his second year students in the grounds of Temple Carrig School in Greystones, Co Wicklow. Photograph Nick Bradshaw

Advocates say it’s safer, nurtures creativity and promotes better engagement. But can the approach hope to survive the Irish winte(...)

Children need to know that they have to keep their distance from people outside their immediate family. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

There is one simple answer: wherever you live, reduce your social contacts now

Parents have been struggling after months of less strict rules surrounding access to mobile devices

The pop-up allergy clinic in the  Citywest   Care Facility (former Convention Centre). Photograph Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Children who have been on waiting lists for years now have ideal chance to be treated

Eva Milka and Eoin Jenkinson of Gaelic Escargot, the snail farm and business they run in County Carlow. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

From hemp and medicinal herbs, new generation of farmers are exploring new methods and new crops all over Ireland

 Eason’s bookshop on O’Connell St, Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

‘People are buying six or seven books at a time’

The flu vaccine is free for those over 65, people with long-term health issues and children. Photograph: iStock

The symptoms are similar, but there are some key differences to look out for

The key thing when washing face masks is  to build up a good lather because the virus hates soap. Photograph: iStock

How long can you wear a mask? How often should it be washed? Can you keep one in your car?

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women in Ireland

Irish Cancer Society says 450 cancers, 1,600 pre-cancers have gone undetected during lockdown

  The Clonakilty Bicycle Festival   hosted family fun cycles in July and August to encourage children to cycle to school

Efforts under way to improve cycling infrastructure in towns and cities across Ireland

‘The most common call outs to mountain rescue is from hill walkers who have slipped.’ File photograph: Getty

An upsurge of interest in outdoor pursuits means injuries may have to be treated in the wild

St John’s Hall, Birr, Co Offaly

Heritage Week: With staycations the norm, it’s a perfect time to appreciate the best in our villages and towns

English social geographer Danny Dorling says we are already experiencing a slowdown in terms of population, fertility and even GDP. Photograph:  Simone Padovani/ Awakening/Getty Images

Oxford professor Danny Dorling on why deceleration is good for the planet, the economy and our lives

“Parents of autistic children worry that their children won’t catch up and that they will spend a lot of time trying to get back to where they were at and that they won’t meet their developmental milestones,” says Adam Harris, CEO of As I Am.

Autism support charity As I Am has produced a useful booklet – Bridge Back to School – to help with the transition

Will the Covid-19 pandemic help to reduce stigma around mental illness?

St Patrick’s Mental Health Services’ ‘No Stigma campaign’ wants people to speak out

Vanessa Job: “If my cancer was caught earlier, who is to say they might not have been able to stop it spreading?”

Vanessa Job had months of anxiety ahead of Covid-stalled surgery to remove liver tumour

Andrew Kiernan: Having a full colectomy was ‘the best thing I’ve ever done. It gave me back my life.’

Sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease speak about the condition and how they manage it

A home assessment service for older people: Aidan Delaney, occupational therapist; Dr Brian McManus, emergency department registrar and Dr Rosa McNamara, consultant in emergency medicine.

Frail older people have higher risk of hospital-acquired infection. Finding ways to assess and treat them at home is crucial.     (...)

Flushing a toilet can generate a cloud of aerosol droplets that rises nearly three feet. Photograph: Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

Need to go while you’re on the go? Here’s how to find a public loo as lockdown eases

 Clodagh Duffy, Recreation Manager with Dublin Mountains Partnership, Hannah Hamilton, Coillte Nature and Karen Woods, Operations Manager with Coillte at Ticknock. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times.

Over the next few decades, nine commercial forests will be converted to purely recreational areas

Classical guitarist Eamon Sweeney performed in the front garden of Elizabeth on her 90th birthday

How one befriending group brought performances to those cocooning during lockdown

Lisa Howley and her dog Rio achieved the challenge of doing 32,500 steps a day without any injuries.

Sports groups want to capitalise on people’s increased fitness post-lockdown

From June 8th, people will be permitted to travel within 20km of their home while still avoiding unnecessary journeys. Photograph: Getty Images

Up to six people may visit homes of friends and family for a short period

Photograph: iStock

GPs say fear of attending surgeries reducing take-up of measles and whooping cough jabs

A guide on how the explore the wonders close to you as the Covid-19 restrictions relax

An otter catches a sizable trout from the river Dodder in Milltown, Dublin. Photograph: Brian Tansey

Otters, kingfishers and dragonflies just some of the creatures to be found along our rivers

 Clare Fehin, Speach and Language, Joe Keena, GP, Martina Nolan, Physiotherapist, Siobhan Harnett, GP Registrar, Premnath Margabandhu, Senior Physiotherapist, Phillip Sheeran Purcell, GP Lead, Catherine Whitty, Hub Clinical Coordinator, Oonagh Murphy Asst. Dir of Public Health Nursing, Geraldine Nolan, Public Health Nurse, Meadhbh Larkin, Speach and Language Therapist at the Wicklow Community Assessment Hub in Wicklow town.  Photograph: Alan Betson

‘We will probably get more cases as restrictions lift’, clinical co-ordinator says

A 16th century brewhouse  at the Weald and Downland museum in West Suxxex. “We want to understand how stone masons could drink 14 pints of beer and build cathedrals”

The Food Cult project seeks to understand the social, economic and political relevance of food in 16th century Ireland

Clinical psychologist at St Vincent’s University Hospital, Paul D’Alton,  says psychological first aid is a brief psychological intervention offered to people in times of crisis. Photograph: Alan Betson

Paul D’Alton brings in psychological first aid at St Vincent’s hospital as form of support

Adjustable ventilator system:  treats two patients with one machine. Photograph: NUI Galway

Businesses and scientists adapt and invent essential equipment and services for hospitals and communities

Researchers hope the service will encourage the public to think critically about health claims and make well-informed health choices. Photograph: iStock

NUIG researchers to help public access clear and precise facts on coronavirus

Ines Collins: ‘I’d love to have my antibodies tested to see if I’m immune now to Covid-19.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

A 74-year-old psychotherapist with a lung condition recovers at home from the virus

Fighting coronavirus: Scientists don’t know yet how long  immunity to Covid-19 will last in those who do develop sufficient antibodies. Illustration: iStock

Experts say about 70% of us must have immunity before we can lead normal lives

The Irish Cloud Appreciation Society has noticed a substantial increase in pageviews on its website since the Covid-19 outbreak in Ireland. Photograph: iStock

‘A moment each day with your head in the clouds helps keep your feet on the ground’

A new mental health campaign aims to counter the toxic atmosphere of social media

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