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General Health Information


Everyone between the ages of 50 and 74 are sent a bowel screening kit every 2 years.  The older you get the higher the risk of developing bowel cancer.  It's more common in people over 50, especially men.  If you have lost your kit or thrown it away but would now like to take this very quick test please call the Helpline on 0800 0121833 and request another kit. 

THE BOWEL SCREENING PROGRAMME is a new campaign that aims to overcome the taboos around bowel cancer in a bid to increase survival rates from the disease in Scotland has been launched by the Scottish Government as part of its "Detect Cancer Early" programme.

For more information visit,

or watch YouTube - The Poo Song

Please feel free to discuss any aspect of this very worthwhile campaign with a doctor, it could save your life. 



Many minor illnesses can be managed at home or with advice from your local Pharmacist and often do not require a doctor’s attention unless they are persistent. Some of the commonest ailments, and what you can do about them, are listed below. For more information on how to practice ‘self-care’ on these and other ailments, visit the Patient UK .  If English is not your first language you may find Health in My Language or NHS 24 useful web sites.


The Common Cold

This is a viral infection for which there is no definitive treatment. There are, however, ‘supportive measures’ that you can take to treat its symptoms. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of different types of viruses that cause a cold, which makes it impossible to immunise against. Antibiotics are of no use either. You will feel generally unwell, with a runny or blocked nose, and some people suffer with ear infections, sinusitis, sore throats, and a cough too. Many people do not get a high temperature, but small children can be more prone to this. A cold usually gets better after 7 to 10 days, but if you have a fever or your joints ache then try taking regular paracetamol (Calpol in infants). Suck a menthol sweet and gargle with salt water, or soluble aspirin if not allergic to it, to relieve a sore throat. Avoid infecting others by covering your mouth and nose when sneezing, and washing your hands regularly.  (TOP of page).



This condition occurs when bacteria infect the bladder wall. Women are more prone to it than men because their urethra, the tube from the bladder to the outside, is shorter and bacteria from the outside can therefore travel up it more easily. You often feel the need to urinate more frequently, and when you do you feel a ‘burning’ sensation. Drinking plenty of fluids (but not coffee or tea) helps to ‘wash out’ the bugs from the bladder. Urinating frequently, and not ‘holding on’, also helps. As does urinating before going to bed and soon after having sex. Recent studies have shown that drinking cranberry juice regularly can help keep cystitis at bay, as well as treating symptoms once it has taken hold.  (TOP of page).



This can be caused by skin infections in the canal, or outer ear, itself (sometimes exacerbated by eczema), or by an infection in the middle ear, usually as a result of a cold. The symptoms of a middle ear infection are pain in the ear, fever, a sensation of a ‘blockage’ in the ear, and sometimes a yellowish runny discharge. To ease pain, lay your head higher than the rest of your body in bed. A middle ear infection that has no discharge does not usually need to be treated with antibiotics. The pain may be relieved by taking regular paracetamol (Calpol in infants). The use of nasal drops, menthol sweets, and steam inhalation all help by easing congestion in the upper airways (which are connected to the middle ears via tubes called the Eustachian tubes).  (TOP of page).



Flu or influenza is a viral illness, often occurring in outbreaks, which cannot be treated with antibiotics. It usually starts with a fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, and 'chestiness'. It can sometimes lead to bacterial infections, for example in the middle ear, sinuses, or lungs – which can be treated by your doctor. It may take up to 14 days before full recovery, but vaccinations in advance of a flu epidemic can reduce your chances of getting it by 70%. People who have difficulty in recovering from flu, because they have other diseases, are strongly advised to get vaccinated. Taking regular paracetamol (Calpol in infants) can help reduce a fever, and relieve headaches. Aspirin or ibuprofen, if you are not sensitive to them, are useful in easing muscle and joint aches (avoid giving to children). Drinking plenty of fluids (not coffee or tea) will help to keep you re-hydrated, which is especially important if you have a fever.   (TOP of page).


Sore Throat

A sore throat usually causes you to have pain when swallowing. If it is accompanied by a cold, coughing, and muscle ache it is usually caused by a virus, for which there is no definitive treatment (see The Common Cold). Tonsils are normally pink, but if they become bright red and have yellow spots on them then you may have a bacterial infection, in which case you may need an antibiotic. Regular use of a painkiller such as paracetamol should ease a sore throat, along with salt-water gargles. If the problems go on longer than a week, and you have a persistent fever then you should make an appointment to see your doctor.(TOP of page).


Ear Wax

Please use oil for one week then make a double appointment with Karen Hookham, the Health Care Assistant to have your ears syringed.  (TOP of page).


Tetanus Vaccinations

The recommendation is that a total of 5 tetanus shots will provide lifetime cover. 

For more information please go to the Patient UK website.   (TOP of page).


Insect and Tick Bites

Insect bites often don’t need any treatment as they harmless. If you are stung on the tongue or throat, however, it could potentially affect your breathing and it is therefore important that you contact your doctor. If have a known allergy to bees or wasps, then a sting to any part of your body can always be dangerous. The resulting allergic reaction may cause you to develop swollen lips and eyes, breathing difficulties, feel generally unwell, and itchy. Again, in this instance you should contact your doctor. Otherwise, you can treat a simple bite by applying vinegar or antiseptic ointment to relieve the irritating itch.

Ticks can easily be removed with a tick remover available from a pharmacy, pet shop or veterinary practice or very pointed end tweezers if a tick remover is unavailable.  If by accident some of the tick is left behind in your skin, the normal wearing down process of the skin eventually expels the remains. Swelling and redness at the site of a bite is natural, but if it is substantially more than the size of a 50 pence piece then you should seek medical attention.

Very occasionally tick bites transmit Lyme Disease, which is recognised as a big circular area of redness spreading out from the bite. This can appear within days or even as late as a month after the bite. Treatment in the early stages is straightforward, and you should make an appointment with your doctor as soon as you notice this kind of a rash.  (TOP of page).


Deafness or hard of hearing

The Highland Deaf Centre in Inverness is open three mornings each week - Monday, Thursday and Friday between 10am and 1pm.  The drop-in sessions are for deaf or hard of hearing people wanting advice about assistive equipment, advice in general about deafness or for changes of hearing aid batteries/tubing.   The drop-in session staff can be contacted on 01463 248101 (the calls are diverted to the main office outside drop-in centre hours).  Further information on the Deaf Services and Hearing Support Team can be found at:

The surgery also holds a supply of batteries for patients who have a NHS hearing aid.  Please ask at the reception desk if you require replacement batteries.

Useful Leaflets and Information

BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT SERVICE from The Highland HospiceInformation on their bereavement support service.

 WHEN SHOULD I WORRY? This booklet is for parents (and older children) and deals with common infections in children who are normally healthy.

STAYWELL - Self Management Programmes is a range of self management education programmes designed to help individuals with long term conditions improve their quality of life and to minimise the risk of crisis care.

Staywell Leaflet for Patients and Carers DIY

Staywell FAQs

HEART FAILURE SUPPORT SERVICE-This service provides companionship and peer support to reduce social isolation, support to access services in the community and encouragement to improve quality of life by making healthy lifestyle choices.


Patient Information Leaflet - Meeting Your Support Needs

We can only help you if you tell us about the type of support you need from us.

Patient info leaflet



(TOP of page).

Though we endeavour to make sure that the information provided on this web site is reliable and accurate, Drumnadrochit Medical Practice cannot accept responsibility for any detriment caused by its use. Browsing this web site for medical information, although useful, is not a substitute for consulting with your doctor. Patients should not hesitate to contact us for advice regarding health matters that they are concerned about.