Certain conditions become more prevalent with age, which increases the need for regular medical check-ups. As we age, we need to have more frequent tests and exams than before since this is the time you need to be proactive about your health and monitor changes in your body in order to be independent and healthy.
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Here’s a list of medical tests that older adults should get alongside the recommended frequency:
Blood Pressure– You could be one of the millions of Americans who have high blood pressure and might not be aware. You should get your blood pressure checked every year even if your BP is normal since blood pressure is a major risk factor for heart disease. Complete Blood Count is a common test that you should have more regularly as an older adult, which can help diagnose things like anemia and bone marrow irregularities.
Cholesterol Screening– High cholesterol is the leading reason why people have heart attacks and strokes. The good thing is high cholesterol levels can be treated by medications and diet (adopting healthy lifestyle measures). Cholesterol screenings are basically a blood test, and the blood test that screens for cholesterol is called a Lipid Panel that shows your level of HDL “good” cholesterol and LDL “bad” cholesterol. Accordingly, your doctor will design a prevention plan for future heart-related risks.
Mammogram– The risk for breast cancer increases with age. Therefore, it’s especially important for women to get that mammogram, which is recommended every one to two years starting at age 40 or 50. Mammograms enable doctors to look for early signs of breast cancer. If you are a female aged 75 and over, the need for screening reduces.
Hearing Test and Eye Exam– Loss of hearing is often a natural part of aging, which can sometimes be caused by an infection or other medical condition. Get hearing test if you are having difficulty hearing. Doctors recommend an audiogram every 2-3 years. Maintaining hearing is a way to ensure good quality of life as you age.
It’s no secret that vision loss is also a normal part of aging. According to experts, adults should get a baseline screening at age 40, which can preserve and maximize your vision. Getting older also means increased risk of eye diseases like macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. Yearly vision exams are recommended for seniors, especially if you wear contacts or glasses.
Bone Density Scan– A bone density scan measures bone mass, which is an important indicator of bone strength, which means keeping an eye on it can help prevent serious injuries later on. Regular bone scans are recommended, especially for women after age 65.
Other vital medical tests include colorectal exam, dental exam, kidney function test, skin check and Pap smear.