Routine Health Exams Every Woman Should Get As They Age
In addition to being intentional about eating right and exercising, women also need to be especially mindful about scheduling regular exams in a variety of areas. Regular health screenings may even save your life. For this reason, it is important that you do not put these appointments on the backburner. Here are three routine health exams that every woman should get as they age in order to promote optimal health.
One of the most important screenings to put on your calendar is the mammogram. Women should begin scheduling these exams at age 40 unless instructed to do so earlier by your doctor. Sentara recommends getting a mammogram to detect the existence of a host of abnormalities, including breast cancer. The mammogram procedure involves compressing the breast between plates, delivering an X-ray image of the breast tissue. Depending on your risk factors, you will need to get these done once per year or more often.
Murphy Eye recommends that you have your eyes checked every two years, but those over the age of 40 may need to have more frequent eye exams to check for common age-related eye problems. Some of the most common eye problems that people see as they get older are glaucoma, dry eyes, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts. A yearly eye exam is especially important if you wear glasses or contacts, as your eyesight can shift dramatically as you age. It’s not uncommon for bad eyesight to sneak up on you, so schedule a check-up even if you’ve had good vision your whole life.
Henry Ford LiveWell recommends getting a colonoscopy at age 50 if you are of average risk of developing colon cancer. This procedure uses a lighted tube and camera that are inserted into the rectum in order to examine the colon. If needed, the procedure can also remove polyps or other types of abnormal tissue. These samples can then be tested in order to detect serious issues. In addition to providing detection of precancerous or cancerous colon polyps, a colonoscopy can also screen for issues such as colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and diverticulosis. Most colonoscopies are performed with the patient under mild sedation.
It is never fun to go to the doctor. However, you will sleep better at night if you know that you are being proactive about your health. These three screenings are an essential part of leading a healthy life as you age.
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