Regular doctor visits and annual testing is important for several reasons. Your doctor can evaluate your health, recommend the right screenings based on your age and condition, and diagnose issues before they become major problems. In many cases, an annual checkup can catch major illnesses before they become life-threatening.
So, just exactly which medical checks should you have annually to ensure good health and happiness? Keep reading to discover several important screenings you should get every year.
1. Yearly Physical and Bloodwork
Most people understand the importance of having a yearly physical with their general practitioner. At this visit, doctors use diagnostic sets to listen to your heart, look into your ears, eyes, nose, and throat, and a host of other checks to make sure you’re physically healthy.
You’ll also be asked to visit the lab where they will draw blood and possibly ask for a urine sample. These bodily fluids will be tested to ensure your major organs (heart, liver, kidneys) are working properly. Your doctor can tell a lot about your overall health via this annual visit and testing, so don’t skip it.
2. Eye Exam
Having an annual eye exam is one of the best things you can do to protect your vision and overall health. Did you know that certain medical conditions can be detected with the simple tests involved? Diabetes, high blood pressure, and even stroke can be detected during a routine eye exam as the blood vessels in the back of the eye offer tell-tale signs of damage and/or weakness due to these conditions.
If you’re diabetic, a yearly eye exam is a must as it can detect minute changes in the health of your eyes and the quality of your vision. Even if you have perfect eyesight, you should get an annual eye exam to identify any potential medical conditions that might affect your vision or overall health.
3. Thyroid Testing
Your thyroid oversees a host of functions in your body. It controls your body’s growth and development as well as your metabolism. If you don’t eat a balanced diet, your thyroid may be affected in one of two ways. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough of the hormone thyroxine.
Hyperthyroidism is just the opposite. The thyroid makes too much thyroxine. Both conditions have major consequences in the body, but through annual testing, these conditions can be managed effectively through healthy eating and medication.
4. Skin Exam
Skin cancer is a common problem, but if caught early, it can be much easier to treat. Routine skin exams conducted by a dermatologist can identify skin issues you may not be aware of. For example, some moles are just moles, while others may pose a cancer risk. A dermatologist will be able to tell the difference.
If you have freckled skin or your skin has a lot of moles or dark spots, you may be more at risk for developing melanoma. For this reason, you should schedule and keep annual skin exams as part of an overall health and wellness plan.
5. Pap Smear/Pelvic Exam (Women)
Women are at risk of certain conditions that can only be detected by a pap smear or pelvic exam. While uncomfortable, these tests are necessary to ensure good health. Every woman, regardless of age, should have an annual checkup with their gynecologist.
Annual medical checks such as the ones listed above are important to ensuring your overall health and happiness. Even if you consider yourself a healthy person, you should not skip these visits as they could detect illnesses before they become a major problem.