There are plenty of people who only make an appointment to see a healthcare professional when they are worried about their health, but this can be a risky strategy. While not all health problems can be prevented, attending regular healthcare appointments every year will increase the likelihood that problems will be detected early. When a problem is found and treated as soon as possible, the outcome is often more positive. It doesn’t matter how hectic your life is or how healthy you feel, you need to prioritize your health. Here are three healthcare appointments which you should attend every year.
Seeing your physician for a check-up
Possibly the most important appointment to make sure that you attend is your annual check-up with your primary physician (Source). Your physician will check that your body is functioning in the way it should, that you are at a healthy weight, that your blood pressure is not too high or low, that your blood tests are normal, and that your body does not have lumps or marks that could cause concern.
You should also use the appointment to ask questions and raise any concerns you have about your health and to ensure you are on the right medications and are up to date with immunizations. In some cases, you may be referred to a specialist for further investigation or specialist treatment.
Screening your eyes at the optometrist
It is natural for our eyesight to worsen gradually as we age, but in many cases, it can worsen so slowly that we do not realize how much of a vision problem we have developed. This is why it is important to attend regular check-ups at the optometrist to track your vision as you may be straining to read, drive, or even see over long distances and not even noticing. Regularly straining your eyes can also lead to headaches and migraines.
However, declining eyesight is not the only reason to see an optometrist. There are a variety of diseases that can lead to vision loss if not detected early enough. The optometrist will examine and test your eyes for signs of these conditions.
Checking your teeth at the dentist
You should be attending dentist appointments at least every year, but ideally every 4–6 months. With the exception of sticking to a regular brushing and flossing routine, many people do not give their oral and dental health much thought until they have a problem. This is a shame for several reasons. Regular dental cleanings will prevent gum disease and cavities (and keep your teeth as white as possible), and the dentist will have the chance to look for early signs of gum disease or recession, loose teeth, grinding, cracks, and holes.
In addition, the health of your mouth and teeth can be connected to other areas of the body. For example, gum disease can be a sign of heart disease, so early detection could literally save your life.
If you feel like you are in good health or you are worried about finding out what is causing troubling symptoms, it might be tempting to avoid your annual healthcare appointments. In reality, almost all issues can be treated more successfully when found early, so it is best to be proactive.