As children, our parents were responsible for keeping us healthy. They tried their best to feed us well-balanced meals, they made sure we got enough sleep and they took us to the doctor when we were ill. They even took us when we were well, for preventative care. But now that we are older, wiser and responsible for ourselves, we hold the reins to our own health. One way to stay in tip-top condition is to complete routine health checks, here are three you shouldn’t miss:
1. Eye Exam
There are few things more precious than the gift of sight. We rely on our eyes to help us navigate through the world, process information, and even to tackle our daily responsibilities. Many of us spend countless hours in front of a computer, tablet, or phone screen, placing extra stress on our eyes. That’s why it’s imperative to see an optometrist to make sure our eyes are healthy. Vision changes, glaucoma, dry eyes, allergies, cataracts, and digital eye strain are just a few of the ocular issues that your doctor can check for. Eye exams can be done less frequently if you are asymptomatic or have no history of vision problems. However, if you have an issue, make sure to visit more regularly.
2. Blood Work
Another health check you may want to schedule is a routine blood test. You can ask your primary doctor to conduct annual blood work along with your yearly physical. While the physical exam will cover anything external, the blood panel should give a detailed picture of everything internal. Tests commonly cover your cholesterol levels, organ functions, glucose levels, blood count, and a metabolic panel. When you get your results, your physician can let you know which data points fall within normal range and advise you how to correct any that don’t.
3. Age-specific exams
The third health check you should conduct correlates to your age. With each age milestone, the recommendations change. Check below to see which exams are necessary.
Age 21: (Women Only) Pelvic Exam/Well Woman Visit, Self-Breast Exam
(Ask your doctor for a mammogram age suggestion)
Age 45: Diabetes Test (if you are not at risk earlier)
Age 50: Colorectal Cancer Screening
Age 50: (Men Only) Prostate Cancer Exam
*If you were born between 1945 and 1965 you should be screened for the Hepatitis C virus.
Eating well and getting enough sleep is beneficial, but checking off those two boxes alone won’t guarantee you’ll remain healthy. In addition to exercising and keeping your stress levels low, prioritize these three routine health checks to get a better picture of what’s going on behind the scenes. By taking a proactive role in managing your well-being, you’ll gain new confidence in your health and appreciation for your wellness.