When you’re feeling fine, it’s far too easy to put off your next medical checkup. When you’re busy with work, your social life, or there’s just something you want to watch on the television, your check ups can take a back seat. But isn’t it true that prevention is better than the cure? Regular check-ups allow medical professionals to see if there are any changes to our body that require treatment, so any problems are caught early.
This isn’t about throat infections or needing new glasses; it can be the difference between life and death. Tumors found early can be treated more easily and before they spread, and heart disease or high cholesterol can be addressed before a life-changing heart attack hits. Yes, life is busy, and healthcare is expensive, but your life and health are too important to avoid check-ups. Here are four regular check-ups you should never skip.
While nobody can agree on exactly how often you should visit your dentist, it’s thought that between every six months and a year should be about right. Don’t just wait until you experience tooth pain – cavities can start long before there’s any pain at all. Your dentist will also check that you’re keeping good care of your teeth. Poor dental hygiene can result in gum disease, which in turn will lead to tooth loss. Regular check-ups allow you to prevent this worst case scenario. Bacteria build up in your mouth can enter your bloodstream, which can even lead to heart disease, so a regular check up at your dentist can have a positive overall effect on your health.
Catching problems with your teeth early can save huge amounts of money on treatment, as costs tend to rise with severity. A small filling in a cavity is much cheaper and less painful than an extraction, which is what could happen if a cavity is ignored for long enough.
While it’s important to keep up your dental hygiene routine of brushing and flossing; visiting your dentist regularly can also ensure any problems are caught quickly. This means you’ll not have to worry about costly treatments, and you’ll know that your teeth aren’t hurting your health overall.
Regular visions to the optometrist are important for people of all ages. Firstly, if your eye function is changing and you need different prescriptions in your glasses; you can find that headaches and nausea are common. Regular visits to your optometrist will mean that your vision is checked more frequently; so you’re less likely to experience the adverse effects as strongly.
Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, your optometrist can check that you don’t have glaucoma; which is where your optic nerve which connects your eye to your brain becomes damaged. If not caught early on, it can eventually lead to a loss of vision altogether; so it’s important that everyone is checked regularly. Ordinarily, we should visit our optometrist about every two years; although people with a family history of glaucoma, or who have been diagnosed with diabetes, should see their optometrist even more frequently.
Nobody particularly enjoys their yearly trip to the gynecologist; but it’s super important, and most women don’t find it as bad as you might first expect. The gynecologist will do quick checks for breast cancer, and a swab for cervical cancer; and then have a quick chat with you about your periods and anything you might be concerned about. Most people visit their gynecologist for the first time at around age 15, and then yearly after that.
Regular checkups allow any abnormalities to be caught early on and treated before they become more serious. Which is why it’s so important not to skip a check up. They will also check for any infections or STDs; although some people also find separate free std testing nearby from sexual health clinics; and get their tests performed more frequently, depending on lifestyle. Most tests performed by a gynecologist are to determine the health of a woman’s reproductive systems; but they can also be indicative of overall health, making it extra important. Issues like diabetes, cancers, and allergies can all be discovered in this way. It might not be fun, but it’s very necessary.
A yearly wellness check-up is encouraged for everybody, especially people on medication or those trying to get pregnant. These check-ups are all about catching problems early, but also giving you peace of mind. If you have any health questions that are concerning you, but not enough to book a general appointment to see your clinician, then your wellness checkup is a great time to ask any questions you might have – and most people have quite a list.
They will also check your cholesterol, blood iron levels, blood pressure, and body mass index. This allows them to discover any underlying health problems that might need treating; which you may not otherwise have shown any symptoms for. This type of preventative health care can save you serious amounts of money in the long run; regular medication for high cholesterol is much cheaper than a long stay in hospital as a result of a heart attack.
If you’re attempting to conceive, a wellness check up is a perfect way for your doctor to talk you through your health before and during the pregnancy. They will do all the same checks, but also encourage you to take prenatal vitamins, and check that there are no underlying health problems that could affect conception or the pregnancy.
They will also just talk to you about your general well being for any signs of depression or anxiety and check that you’re safe. It’s a great way for you to reassure yourself that everything is fine, but also to get any help you need, that you weren’t necessarily comfortable booking an appointment specifically for.
What’re Your Thoughts?
Check-ups with doctors, dentists, optometrists, and gynecologists are crucial in ensuring you’re healthy; and preventative medicine can save you so much money in the long term too.
Ally Gonzales is the founder & editor-in-chief of RunningSoleGirl. Along with blogging she is also juggling attending college and majoring in Exercise and Sports Science with a Sports Management minor.