(BPT) - Being an advocate and prioritizing your own health is essential to your well-being. No one is in charge of your health but you. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to ensure you get the checkups that are key to staying well and preventing future problems.
With that in mind, here are the top five health evaluations you shouldn’t put off.
1. General checkup
You’ve heard it before, but getting a full physical examination annually is the best way to keep tabs on your health and prevent small issues from becoming big problems. A general checkup can include any number of individual evaluations including cardiovascular checks, pap screens, screenings for family history health issues, and more. Your provider will also likely order a full blood test to check for things like cholesterol levels, glucose levels, fluid balance and organ function.
2. Vision exam
Your sight is worth protecting. That’s why it’s so important to get an annual eye exam. There’s more to eye health than just seeing clearly. Your eye doctor can check for things like macular degeneration, astigmatism, glaucoma and other conditions that develop over time. Also, because vision can worsen gradually, you may not even realize you’re not seeing as well as you could be.
Experts recommend most adults get their eyes checked annually. If your current insurance portfolio doesn’t offer vision protection, consider an insurance partner like VSP Individual Vision Plans. It’s vision coverage you can buy on your own and there’s no waiting for specific enrollment periods.
3. Dental exam
There aren’t many people who enjoy going to the dentist, but that doesn’t make it any less important. Dental problems tend to snowball, and what starts as a cavity can turn into a more serious issue quickly. Put your reluctance aside and go see your dentist. They can screen for things like cavities, gingivitis and infections and make sure any prior dental procedures, like crowns or fillings, are still holding up.
4. Age-appropriate screenings
As you get older, your health needs change. You become more at-risk for different types of conditions, and the health evaluations you relied on in younger years may not be sufficient anymore. As you age, consider going in for more age-appropriate health screenings, like a colonoscopy to check for colon cancer, hearing tests and mole checks. Your doctor or primary care physician can tell you what screenings are right for your age and individual health concerns.
5. Flu shot
While the flu shot is not technically a health evaluation, it’s still one of those things many people put off or avoid altogether. This is unfortunate because a flu shot is one of the best ways to protect yourself and others from real health consequences. According to CDC estimates, there were up to 740,000 flu hospitalizations and up to 62,000 deaths in the 2019-2020 flu season. Getting a flu shot is especially important because people with compromised immune systems may not be eligible for the vaccine. By not protecting yourself, you may be putting others at risk.
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