Preventive screenings are an easy way to test for a variety of illnesses. They can help you catch a disease in the early stages while it’s easier to cure, or provide peace of mind. In this article we will discuss 7 essential preventative health screenings you should discuss with your doctor.
Consider getting these screenings on a regular basis:
- General physical exams. General exams give you the chance to talk about your health with your doctor without the distraction of being sick. You may want to have a general physical exam once a year or more often.
- You can also do tests for various illnesses and discuss your risk factors.
- Diabetes screening. Your doctor may recommend a different schedule, but a regular screening schedule for diabetes is at least once every three years.
- If you have risk factors for diabetes such as being overweight or a family history, then you may want to get screenings more often. A blood glucose test is one of the most popular ways to screen for this disease.
- Your doctor can test your blood sugar levels and see early signs of diabetes.
- By catching the disease in its early stages, you may be able to reduce the amount of medication you need or control the illness with diet and exercise.
- Blood pressure screening. It’s a simple test, but your doctor’s office has more accurate equipment than your local pharmacy.
- Health experts recommend having your blood pressure tested at least every two years. If you’re at a high risk of developing hypertension, then you may want to get the screening test more frequently.
- Cholesterol screening. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults have this test at least once every five years.
- If you have several risk factors such as obesity and smoking, then you may want to start these screenings at the age of 20. If you don’t have high risk factors, then you can wait and start at the age of 35.
- Skin cancer screenings. Your doctor may have individual guidelines for you to follow, but you may want to discuss skin cancer at least once a year.
- If you have a history of tanning or suspicious moles on your body, then you may need to get tested more often. Your lifestyle and risk factors will determine how often you need to get the screening.
- You can also check your skin at home once a month to track mole changes or other skin irregularities.
- Hearing screening. It’s wise to get a hearing test once every five or ten years. If you have other risk factors or notice a change in your hearing, then get your hearing checked more frequently.
- If you’re over the age of 50, then health experts recommend getting your hearing checked every three years.
- Bone mineral density screening. Experts recommend that women over the age of 65 get this test. However, men may also want to consider it.
- Osteoporosis can affect both men and women. In addition, the symptoms of osteoporosis may not be noticeable until you break one of your bones. It’s important to have this screening test done at least once and discuss the results with your doctor.
- Your physician may recommend a more frequent screening schedule for osteoporosis.
Preventive screenings can help you stay proactive about your health. They can be a routine part of your doctor’s visits and help keep you healthy.