– Checking up soon- Regular health exams and tests can help find problems before they start. They also can help find problems early, when your chances for treatment and cure are better. By getting the right health services, screenings, and treatments, you are taking steps that help your chances for living a longer, healthier life. Your age, health and family history, lifestyle choices (i.e. what you eat, how active you are, whether you smoke), and other important factors impact what and how often you need healthcare.
Whether it’s getting your annual wellness visit or having your cholesterol checked, keeping up with your recommended screenings plays an important role in catching small health problems before they become big ones.
Planning your checking-up
Add to your to-do list to make sure you have gotten all of your annual health check-ups and exams. If you still need some of these tests, make your appointments now. Doctor office appointments fill up as the end of the year looms—and a new annual deductible kicks in.
- Review your medical and family history.
- Measure your height, weight, blood pressure and visual ability.
- Update a list of your current medications.
- Discuss your lifestyle, abilities and needs such as weight loss, fall prevention and eating habits.
Some screening tests you should discuss with your doctor:
- Bone density exam* This is a test for osteoporosis, or weak bones. The results can help your doctor make recommendations based on your risk factors.
- A1C diabetes test This is used to diagnose Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, as well as to assess how well you’re managing your diabetes.
- Blood pressure test While many people check their blood pressure at home or at the local pharmacy, it’s important to have your blood pressure checked by your doctor.
- Colorectal screening* Also known as a stool test, this is used to spot colorectal polyps or cancer.
- Mammogram This is an important tool for diagnosing breast cancer.
- Eye exam* Illnesses in the eyes (macular degeneration , cataracts , and glaucoma ) become more common as people age. Screening may help preserve your vision or uncover warning signs of problems. Talk with your doctor about how often you need to have your eyes checked.
- Hearing exam Loss of hearing can have serious consequences, such as difficulty hearing alarms and doorbells, understanding conversations and more. If you’re having trouble hearing, talk to your doctor about whether you need to have your hearing tested.
- Cholesterol screening As a major cause of heart attacks and strokes, cholesterol levels should be periodically monitored, mainly if your levels are already high or you have known risks. Talk with your doctor about how often you need to have your cholesterol levels measured.
- Aneurysm screening For men between the ages of 65 and 75 who are former smokers, the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) suggests a one-time screening for abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) by ultrasound .