Annual Medical Exams to Always Get
Here’s a list that will help you schedule your healthcare visits, ask for the right health exams and generally take good care of yourself.
l visit your dentist once or twice a year for checkups.
Have your hearing tested if you:
l have to strain to hear a normal conversation
l turn up the volume on TVs and radios so loud that others complain
l By age 45, vision problems begin to present themselves.
l Age 65 and older, have eye exams annually.
l Get tested for glaucoma if you are severely near-sighted; have diabetes; have a family history of glaucoma; are older than 65; are African American.
l Blood pressure annually.
l Cholesterol (males over 35, females over 45, people with other risk factors such as tobacco use, diabetes, high blood pressure or family history of heart disease. Check every five years or annually with risk factors and high cholesterol.
l Diabetes annually. High risk factors include those who: are American Indian, Alaska native, Hispanic or African American; have a family member with diabetes; are overweight; had diabetes during pregnancy.
l Osteoporosis (bone density test). Women 65 and older should be tested annually.
l Tuberculosis annually and if you have been in close contact with someone who has TB; have recently moved from Asia, Africa, Central or South America or the Pacific Islands; have kidney failure, diabetes, HIV or alcoholism; have injected street drugs.
l Colorectal cancer after age 50 annually or if you have had polyps; have a family member with colorectal cancer, breast cancer or cancer of the ovaries or uterus.
l Breast cancer. Mammogram every two years beginning at age 40 or annually if you have a sister or mother with breast cancer.
l Cervical cancer. Pap test every three years or annually if you have had a sexually transmitted disease; have had more than one sex partner; have had previous abnormal Pap tests. Pap tests are no longer needed after hysterectomy.
l Prostate cancer. Test annually after age 50, especially if you are African American or have a brother or father with prostate cancer.
l Oral cancer (cancers of the lip, tongue, pharynx and mouth).
l Measles-mumps-rubella if you’ve never had a measles-mumps-rubella shot or never had measles, mumps, and rubella, you should receive at least one dose of this vaccine if: you are a woman able to become pregnant and/or were born after 1956.
l Tetanus-diphtheria every ten years.
l Flu shots annually over 50 or if: you have lung, heart or kidney disease, diabetes or cancer; are a health-care worker; are infected with HIV or have AIDS.
l Pneumonia shot once around age 65 or if you have lung, heart or kidney disease; HIV; diabetes or cancer.
l Hepatitis B shots if you have had sex with more than one partner or with someone infected with hepatitis B; have had any other sexually transmitted disease within the last six months; have injected street drugs; have a job that involves contact with human blood or blood products; travel to areas where hepatitis B is common.