With the advent of technology and advanced medical equipments, it has become easier for doctors to diagnose any health problem at an early stage. After 40 years of age, doctors recommend a full body check-up or health check up once in a year. Hospitals in many developed countries also offer national screening programs for various diseases like cancer – breast cancer, cervical cancer, prostate cancer or colorectal cancer. There are some common and basic health check-ups like that for eyesight, hearing, teeth, blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure that need to be done regularly.
Blood Pressure Monitoring
With increasing age and high stress levels, blood pressure is bound to rise adversely affecting your health. Some people are more likely to develop high blood pressure, as it may run in their family. Though it does not show any symptoms, high blood pressure can lead to several other health problems. High blood pressure can be prevented by regularising your work schedule, making suitable changes in your lifestyle and eventually by taking regular medication. It is advisable to get your blood pressure checked on a regular basis to keep a check on your health, especially for the people who are 40 years of age and above.
Blood Cholesterol Test
It has been proven that high levels of cholesterol pose great risk to your health especially that of your heart. Get a lipid profile done to check your cholesterol levels, for which you need to get a blood test done. A blood test measures cholesterol and other blood fats. Cholesterol levels are measured in millimoles per litre. If your cholesterol level is
More than 6.5mmol/l – you fall under the high risk category
Between 5.4 and 6.5 mmol/l – you are in the moderate risk category
Less than 5.4 mmol/l – you are in the low risk category
If you want to keep that million dollar smile of yours intact, you need to see your dentist regularly. Regular dental check-ups help the doctor spot the signs of gum diseases at an early stage. Healthy teeth and gums also demand good oral hygiene. An examination of the gums helps your dentist to pick up early signs or warnings of any cavities or dental disease. The sooner a problem is diagnosed the better, as it becomes easier for your dentist to give you appropriate treatment.
Over half of the people of 70 years of age and above suffer from hearing loss. Hearing becomes less acute with age and the degree of loss of hearing may vary from person to person. Significant hearing loss may result in depression and loss of confidence. Loss of hearing is difficult to monitor, as it happens gradually over a period of time. However, if you experience any difficulty in hearing sounds or voices, it’s time to visit your ENT specialist. There is no permanent cure to this, but hearing aid may help you to ease your trouble.
It is normal for vision to diminish with age. However, it can be corrected by an appropriate lens prescription for near or distant vision. Besides assessing your vision, ophthalmic practitioners can examine the eyes for evidence of cataracts and glaucoma. Both of these diseases become more common with age and can be treated better if detected earlier. Other health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes may also affect your eyesight. To avoid deterioration in your eyesight, you must visit your eye doctor once in a year.
A urine sample will help your doctor to find out if you are a diabetic. If you have a strong family history of diabetes, you must go for these check-ups on regular and frequent intervals, as diabetes may eventually become a root-cause of many other health problems.
A simple X-ray of the breast, which is done to check for cancerous and precancerous tissue and hopefully detect the cancer at an early stage, is known as Mammogram. In developed countries, this test is highly recommended to women between the ages of 50 and 65 years. The frequency at which this test should be taken is every 3 to 5 years. If your family has a history of breast cancer then it becomes important to get the routine screening done from a much earlier age.
Cervical Smear Test
A regular screening programme through cervical smear test helps to detect in advance any cellular changes in the cervix, so that further tests can be conducted. And, if there are any evidences or symptoms, even treatment can begin before the development of cervical cancer. During an internal examination, a speculum is inserted in order to check the cervix. A small sample of cervical cells is obtained by sweeping the cervix with a spatula. These samples are then analysed in a hospital laboratory. According to the doctors, it is advisable to have a smear test at least every three years for all those women who are or have been sexually active.
Prostate glands enlarge with age. It has been observed that in some men, this enlargement is accompanied by cancerous changes. A blood test for prostate specific antigen levels provides a non-specific indicator for prostate gland disease and the possibility of prostrate cancer. This test is common for men over 50 years of age.
All these tests mentioned above are considered to be routine health check-ups that need to be done at regular intervals to avoid further complications or deterioration of health.