Now is as good a time as any to get these appointments on your calendar.
As summer transitions into fall, many people find that they return to more regular routines. Kids are back in school, vacations are completed and life starts to settle down. That is until the busyness of the winter holidays kicks into high gear. This in-between time is the perfect time to catch up on important things you need to do, especially when it comes to your health.
If you haven't had time to make your health a priority lately, now is the time to do so. Not only is it a good opportunity to get back into a routine of eating healthy, exercising regularly and sleeping enough, but it's also the ideal time to catch up on any medical appointments you may have put off.
Here are some appointments to get on your calendar if you're overdo for a visit:
Annual physical. Even if you're feeling good, this yearly appointment is a good opportunity to keep track of vital information, such as weight, blood pressure and other important numbers. It's also a chance for you to talk with your doctor about anything that concerns you, ask any questions you may have and discuss when you should have recommended screenings and routine bloodwork. Your primary care physician can also keep you up to date on recommended vaccinations.
Cancer screenings. Depending on your age, gender, family history and health status, it may be time for you to have important cancer screenings done.
- It is recommended that colorectal cancer screenings begin at age 45 if you are at average risk.
- Women should talk to their doctor starting at age 40 to decide when to begin mammogram screenings and how often to get them.
- Women should also ask how often they need PAP/HPV screenings to protect against cervical cancer, depending on their age.
- Men should discuss the benefits and risks of screening for prostate cancer.
- Getting a full-body check by a dermatologist to check for skin cancer is recommended annually, especially if you are fair-skinned or have a family history of skin cancer.
- If you are a long-time current or former smoker, you should ask whether screening for lung cancer with a low-dose CT scan is recommended.
Other exams. Have you had your eyes checked recently? How about your hearing? Are you going for routine cleanings to keep your teeth and gums healthy? Should you check your bone density?
- Eye exams are recommended every 1 to 5 years, depending on your age and whether you have any vision problems or medical issues.
- It's recommended that you have your hearing checked every 3 to 5 years until age 40 and then more often after that or if you have any signs of hearing loss (this is often done during your annual physical so you may not need to make a separate appointment).
- It is suggested that you visit a dentist every six months to get a professional cleaning. This helps prevent cavities and can keep your gums healthier.
- If you are a woman aged 65 or older or are at an increased risk for osteoporosis, talk to your doctor about whether you should have a bone density scan.
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Date Last Reviewed: June 16, 2023
Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor
Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD