Keeping up with routine medical exams is an extremely important part of making sure you take care of yourself. There are a lot of issues that end up much worse when they aren’t caught early. One of the best things you can do for your health is to make sure that you know when it’s time to get checkups for every part of your body. This will vary by person, as well as gender and age, so be aware of your needs when you schedule your appointments! Below are some specific things to be aware of in general when you’re figuring out what exactly you need to get checked.
Everyone needs a primary care doctor to perform annual or monthly checkups. These can help detect things like heart disease; dramatic weight fluctuation; blood pressure problems; breathing/lung issues; slowed reflexes; diabetes; and anything visibly abnormal in the eyes, ears, nose, and throat. These kinds of checkups are the most important, since they cover a broad spectrum of all parts of the body; and allow you to talk about any problems you’ve noticed on your own.
Keeping up with routine oral exams and care is another thing everyone should do. Believe it or not, an unhealthy mouth can contribute to many issues throughout the body! Getting regular dental cleanings and checkups can help you catch and find the sources of cavities, plaque and tartar build-up, abscesses, gum disease, halitosis, and poor oral hygiene habits, etc. Your dentist may also take X-rays of your mouth to make sure you don’t have any wisdom tooth, or jaw problems like misalignment or TMJ. You also are often able to get your teeth professionally cleaned during these checkups, so you can start (or continue) an improved home dental care regimen on a clean slate.
Even if you have perfect vision now, it’s important to have an eye doctor as you age. Keeping up with routine eye exams can help detect the early development of cataracts, glaucoma, near/farsightedness, blindness, pupil malfunctions, jaundice/liver problems, macular degeneration, and more. There are a few different tests involved with an eye exam, but none of them are invasive; and if you already wear glasses, you know what you’re in for.
Depending on your physical gender, you will have different reproductive needs.
- For men, regular prostate checks are important for making sure all the organs are functioning properly, to find any STDs, to catch prostate cancer as early as possible, etc. A urologist can also assist with kidney stones, which are most commonly developed in men.
- For women, there’s a bit more involved since the reproductive system is more complicated. Every woman needs a gynecologist they can go see every year (or more often) for vaginal and breast exams. This can help to find cancer, infections, STDs, pH level imbalances, and more.
As you can see, there is much more to keeping up with routine medical exams than just an ear, nose, and throat check every so often. Make sure you know what you need to have checked, and when, so you can do your part to catch any potential problems before they become too big to fix.