Preventing diseases before they develop is crucial for helping individuals live longer and healthier lives. Regular physical exams can help you avoid several potential health issues. Open communication at each preventive care exam with your healthcare professional will help you learn how to stay healthier.
A preventive care exam offers excellent opportunities for physicians to screen patients’ current health conditions and discuss their developing health concerns. Preventive care exams can alert you well in advance if you are at risk of contracting future health problems due to aging, family history, or lifestyle.
Preventive care exams also help in keeping primary stages of diseases from getting worse. As part of your preventive care exam, your doctor will check your vital signs and examine your heart, lungs, ears, eyes, throat, skin, abdomen, and more.
Healthcare professionals use a physical exam to learn how your body is functioning. Depending on your individual health history, your doctor may decide to focus on specific areas. For example, patients with a family history of heart disease may require an additional monitoring of blood pressure, and testing for blood sugar and cholesterol levels. Depending on your health risk, your physician may suggest tips for a healthier lifestyle to prevent future health problems.
At your preventive care visit, physicians may inquire about your current health condition, your family history, previous illnesses, surgeries, and chronic health conditions to evaluate your health risk. You might need to undergo a physical exam based on your age and gender as follows:
Children ages 0-5 - Height/weight, immunizations, and developmental screening
Children ages 6-12 - Height/weight, immunizations, and developmental assessment
Women - Breast exam and Pap test
Adults - Cholesterol and colon cancer screening
Depending on test outcomes, age, and individual health history, the exam also offers you an opportunity to discuss prevention measures with your doctor.
A routine physical or annual physical exam is usually a once-a-year appointment with medical professionals, but it may vary from person to person. If you’re a healthy individual, you’ll probably only need to see a healthcare physician annually for a physical exam, also called an annual preventive care exam. However, people who are suffering from a chronic condition may be advised to have frequent preventive care visits. For pregnant women, young children, or the elderly, preventive care visits may be required more often during a year. Your doctor’s office will provide a suitable annual preventive care plan for you.
Medical professionals may sometimes, suggest certain additional screenings for chronic illnesses and perhaps cancer. After your regular health checkup, you should always plan a new healthcare schedule for any preventive care exams suggested by your doctor. In addition to this, you may ask your health care provider to recommend professional and wellness experts who can help you reach your health-related goals.