Health A-Z

Filter

Ear infection (middle ear)

An ear infection occurs when bacteria or viruses infect the middle ear, causing pain and discomfort. They are common in young children, who should be taken to a doctor.

Read more

Earache

Ear pain or earache is very common in children and can also affect adults. See your doctor if you or a family member – especially a child or baby – has earache.

Read more

Eczema

Eczema is a common skin condition that causes redness, inflammation, dryness and itching of the skin. The exact cause of eczema is not known but with the most common form of eczema – called atopic dermatitis – there is often a family history of eczema, hay fever and/or asthma.

Read more

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction means a man is unable to maintain an erect penis sufficient for satisfactory sexual intercourse. Many men have erection problems at times, and the likelihood increases with age.

Read more

Eyes & ageing

Changes that occur in our eyes as we grow older can have a big effect on our vision.

Read more

Falls prevention

A fall at any age can be dangerous, but falls become increasingly common and far more likely to cause injury after the age of 55.

Read more

Folic acid

Easy-to-read medicine information about folic acid – what is it, how to take folic acid safely and possible side effects.

Read more

Food allergies

A food allergy is when the body's immune system reacts to a harmless food as if it were toxic. In most cases, the allergic reaction may cause mild to moderate symptoms such as a rash or an upset tummy. In rare cases, it can cause a severe reaction called anaphylaxis.

Read more

Fungal nail infections

Onychomycosis is a common fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails. It can cause discolouration and thickening of one or more nails over a long period of time.

Read more

Fussy eaters

Fussy eating is normal in young children and can be stressful for parents. But, as long as your child is growing and developing healthily, then they're eating enough.

Read more

Gastroenteritis

Gastroenteritis (tummy bug, food poisoning, traveller's diarrhoea, viral enteritis or intestinal flu) is a gut infection that causes stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Read more

Gastro-oesophageal reflux

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease describes inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus due to stomach acid leaking up (refluxing) from the stomach. It is commonly referred to as GORD or GERD (American spelling).

Read more

Glue ear

If your child has glue ear, it means there is fluid in the space behind the ear drum. The main symptom of glue ear is reduced hearing.

Read more

Gout

Gout is a common and painful form of arthritis. It causes severe joint pain and swelling, especially in your toes, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers. If left untreated, gout can cause serious damage to your joints, kidneys and quality of life.

Read more

Gout overview

Gout is a common and painful form of arthritis. It causes severe joint pain and swelling, especially in your toes, knees, elbows, wrists and fingers. If left untreated, gout can cause serious damage to your joints, kidneys and quality of life.

Read more

Gum disease

Gum disease is common and ranges from mild to severe. If not treated, it can lead to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth. In the worst cases, teeth are lost.

Read more

Hair loss - normal or hereditary

While men experience "male pattern baldness" (vertex balding and/or receding frontal hairline), women generally experience female pattern baldness, which is a thinning over the top of the head or crown while maintaining a frontal hairline.

Read more

Hair loss - temporary or abnormal

Abnormal hair loss is non-hereditary and usually temporary. It can be due to many causes, including nutritional deficiencies, disease, medications, reactions to hair products, stress, (also for women, pregnancy).

Read more

Hand washing

Everyday, we come in contact with thousands of microscopic germs which have the potential to make us sick. Keeping your hands clean is vital for helping you stay well and preventing the spread of illnesses

Read more

Hay fever

Hay fever is the inflammation of the lining of the nose and eyes due to allergy. Many people experience it as seasonal allergy to grass pollens.

Read more

HbA1c testing

The HbA1c test measures your average blood glucose over the previous 8 to 12 weeks and gives an indication of your longer-term blood glucose control. It is used as a screening test to identify diabetes and regular monitoring tool if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Read more

Head lice

Head lice are small parasitic insects that live clinging onto our hair and feed from our scalps.

Read more

Healthy eating for children

Tips for parents, family/whānau and caregivers on the kinds of food – and how much of each – children need to eat to be healthy.

Read more

Hearing loss in babies and children

Infants and children can have temporary or permanent hearing loss that may vary from slight to profound in its severity.

Read more

Heart failure

Heart failure occurs when the heart is unable to keep enough blood moving around the body. It does not mean the heart is about to stop, but it does mean that there is a problem with the heart’s pumping action.

Read more

Heartburn

Heartburn is a burning feeling that rises from the stomach or lower chest up towards the neck. It can occur at any time but usually it happens after eating.

Read more

High blood pressure

High blood pressure is a common condition in which the force of your blood against your artery walls is too high, too often. Ongoing high blood pressure, or hypertension, puts stress on the heart and can lead to health problems, such as heart disease and stroke.

Read more

High cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat in your blood. Most cholesterol is made by your body, but eating fatty foods can lead to high cholesterol levels. Your arteries may clog up with the fatty cholesterol and which increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.

Read more

How food & drink affect sleep

What you eat and drink can affect how well you sleep – and how well you sleep affects what you choose to eat and drink. Creating a healthy eating-sleeping cycle can make a big difference to your health and wellbeing.

Read more

How food & drink affects sleep

If you've noticed you feel particularly sleepy or energised after eating or drinking certain things, that's because what you consume can have an impact on how well you sleep and how awake you are during the day.

Read more

How much sleep is enough?

Most adults need around 7–9 hours of sleep each night. If you feel tired during the day, you might need to sleep more.

Read more

Hyperthyroidism

An overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) is a condition in which the thyroid gland makes too much thyroid hormone.

Read more

Hypothyroidism

Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) is a condition in which the thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.

Read more

Indigestion

Indigestion is a word used to describe stomach pain or discomfort after eating. It is not a disease on its own, but a group of symptoms (such as stomach pain, bloating, or a sense of fullness) you feel soon after eating.

Read more

Infant colic

Infant colic is ongoing crying without an obvious cause in otherwise healthy babies. It can be very stressful to manage but usually passes by 16 weeks of age.

Read more

Influenza

Influenza is a viral infection of your nose, throat and sometimes your lungs, but it can affect your whole body. It is a serious viral infection that carries the risk of hospitalisation or even death.

Read more

Insomnia

If you have trouble getting to sleep, staying asleep or sleeping for long enough, you may have insomnia. This is a common problem and can be caused by many things. However, there are things you can do to help improve your sleep and there are treatments available if you need them.

Read more

Iron supplements

Easy-to-read medicine information about iron supplements – what are they, how to take iron supplements safely and possible side effects.

Read more

Irritable bowel disease

Read more

Kidney disease

Kidney disease is any disease or condition that affects the function of the kidneys, which is to filter and remove wastes and water from the bloodstream.

Read more

Knee arthritis

Osteoarthritis is the most is the most common type of knee arthritis. It causes pain and stiffness in the joint.

Read more

Liver disease

Liver disease can be inherited or caused by damage to the liver such as from infection, alcohol use and obesity. Over time, damage to the liver causes scarring (cirrhosis), which can lead to life-threatening liver failure.

Read more

Madopar®

Easy-to-read medicine information about Madopar – what it is, how to take Madopar safely and possible side effects. Madopar is also called levodopa + benserazide.

Read more

Mammogram

A mammogram is a low-dose x-ray of your breast tissue. It can show changes and abnormalities in your breasts before anything can be seen or felt.

Read more

Melanoma

Melanoma is a type of cancer that occurs in your skin. It often appears as a new spot on normal skin or develops from an existing mole.

Read more

Meningococcal disease

Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that can lead to serious illnesses including meningitis (inflammation of the brain membranes) and septicaemia (blood poisoning). These illnesses can develop quickly over a few hours and can cause serious disability or even death, so it’s important to get medical help immediately. Meningococcal disease can be treated with antibiotics. Early treatment is very important. Don't wait – take action!

Read more

Mental illness

Mental illness is any disease or condition that influences the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and/ or relates to others.

Read more

Nappy rash

Nappy rash is a red, irritating skin rash in the area covered by the baby's nappy.

Read more

Obesity

Obesity is a medical term used to describe being too heavy for your height so that your health is affected. Obese children and adults are at much greater risk of acute and long-term health problems. The World Health Organisation describes the worldwide prevalence of obesity as an epidemic.

Read more

Onychomycosis

Onychomycosis is a common fungal infection of the toenails or fingernails. It can cause discolouration and thickening of one or more nails over a long period of time.

Read more

Oral health

Teeth have a huge influence on your appearance and overall health. Keep them clean, white and healthy and you have a wonderful asset. Neglect them and your appearance and health both suffer. Daily care, along with a healthy diet and regular visits to your dental practice, will keep your smile in top condition.

Read more

Oral health – children

When it comes to oral care for children, getting off to a good start is essential. Teeth play an important role in jaw development, eating and speech. They need to be healthy and well-cared for from the beginning.

Read more