Any Better Reason for a Yearly Checkup than the New Change of Season?
For many people, the changing of the seasons is an exciting time, ushering in a feeling of new beginnings or renewal. It can also come with a to-do list to wrap up the previous season and prepare for the next one. Whether it’s putting away the patio furniture for the season, checking the batteries in a smoke detector, or switching out the clothing in your closet, there is plenty to do as summer fades into autumn. But one thing that’s often overlooked? A yearly checkup with your family physician. There are many reasons to add this to your checklist this fall!
An annual exam should be a yearly event that is part of your routine healthcare regimen. While many people wait to go to the doctor until they are sick, a yearly checkup can play an important role in preventing illness in the first place. Prevention is the best medicine, and there’s no better time to invest in that prevention than now.
At your annual exam, you can expect your doctor to perform a head-to-toe examination, which may include:
- Weight and BMI index to determine if you are in a healthy weight range. If not, your doctor may discuss lifestyle changes you can make to get there.
- Pulse and blood pressure to determine if you are at risk for a stroke or heart disease. High blood pressure can indicate buildup in the arteries, while low blood pressure can put you at risk for dizziness or fainting.
- Listening to your heart and lungs to catch any heartbeat abnormalities or congestion in the lungs.
- Looking in your eyes, mouth, and ears for signs of vision changes, infection or growths.
- Checking your lymph nodes for swelling which can indicate an infection.
- Asking questions about your major organ systems to ensure everything is functioning and healthy.
Additionally, your physician will review your health history to determine if anything needs a more thorough follow-up. Depending on the findings of the basic exam, your physician may perform or order additional exams such as an EKG, a cholesterol test, a blood count, a diabetes screener, a spirometry test, a bone density test, or even x-rays.
This is also the time to discuss any changes to your health history, as well as any changes in your family’s medical history that may be relevant to you. Bring a list of concerns or questions; your doctor will answer them now. Your physician may also review your list of medications. Finally, vaccinations like your yearly flu shot or travel vaccines will be administered.
Annual exams are an easy way to be proactive about your health. Don’t delay your care any longer! To schedule an appointment with the doctors at Westgate Family Physicians, call (864) 574-0070 today.