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The Health Testing All Seniors Need

  As you age, your need for regular medical testing usually increases. Now is when you need to be proactive about your health and monitor changes in your body.  Below are 15 tests that you should think about having.  Talk to your family doctor  
  • Blood Pressure Check – One in every 3 adults has elevated blood pressure, known as hypertension. Hypertension is often called the “silent killer” because the symptoms may not show up until it’s too late.  It increases the risk for stroke and/or heart attacks.
 
  • Blood Tests for Lipids – Healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels decrease the risks of heart attacks or strokes.Improved diet, lifestyle changes, or medications can help reduce the risk.
 
  • Colorectal Cancer Exam – A digital rectal exam checks only the lower part of the rectum, whereras a colonoscopy scans the entire rectum. Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if caught early.
 
  • Eye Exam – Adults should get a baseline screening at age 40. Age increases eye diseases such as glaucoma and cataracts and new or worsening vision problems.  The eye doctor might want to have an annual check-up for your vision.
 
  • Vaccinations – Get a tetanus booster every 10 years. And the CDC recommends a yearly flu shot for everyone, especially for those who are older or chronically ill.  At age 65, pneumococcal vaccine should be administered to protect against pneumonia and other infections, such as pneumonia, sinusitis, meningitis, endocarditis, pericarditis and/or inner ear infections.  Everyone over the age of 60 should also vaccinate against Shingles.
 
  • Periodontal Exam – Oral health becomes more important as you age. Dental issues may lead to loss of natural teeth.  The dentist should perform a periodontal exam during one of your bi-annual teeth cleanings.  The dentist will x-ray your jaw and inspect mouth, teeth, gums, and throat for signs of problems.
 
  • Hearing Test – Every 2-3 years, one should get an audiogram. An audiogram checks your hearing at a variety of pitches and intensity levels.  Most hearing loss is treatable, although treatment options depend on the cause and seriousness of your hearing loss.
 
  • Bone Density Exam – 75 million people are affected by osteoporosis in Japan, Europe, and USA. Women are affected more often than men in this category.  A bone density scan measures gone mass, which is a key indicator of one strength.  Regular bone scans are recommended aft. er age 65, especially for women.
 
  • Vitamin D Test – Vitamin D protects your bone, defend against heart diseases, diabetes, and cancers. Many North Americans do not get enough Vitamin D naturally.  An annual exam should be performed with the physical, as you get older, the body had harder time synthesizing Vitamin D.
  • Thyroid-Stimulating Hormone Screening – Sometimes the thyroid, a gland in your neck to regulate your body’s metabolism rate, may not produce enough hormones. This may lead to sluggishness, weekends, or achiness. In men it could cause problems such as erectile disfunction. A simple blood test can check your level of thyroid-stimulating hormone and determine if your thyroid is not functioning properly.
 
  • Diabetes Test – 29.1 million Americans has type two diabetes in 2012. Everyone should be screened at the beginning of age 45 for the condition.
 
  • Mammogram – Most healthcare practitioners had advised to have a mammogram every two years. The American cancer society says woman between age of 45 to 55 should have a clinical breast exam and an annual screening mammogram. Women over 55 should have an exam every two years so every year.
 
  • Pap Smear – many women over age 65 may need a regular pelvic exam and Pap smear. Pap smears can detect cervical or vaginal cancer, a pelvic exam helps with health issues like incontinence or pelvic pain.
 
  • Prostate Cancer Screening – possible prostate cancer can be detected either by a digital rectal scan or by measuring prostate-specific antigen (PSA) level in your blood. The American Cancer Society suggest doctors discuss screening with people at age 50 who are at average risk for prostate cancer.
 
  • Heart Exam – Heart exams should be done as needed and at least once a year for seniors age 65 and up. Heart exam can reveal other related health issues as well, such as hypertension and diabetes. Everyone can benefit from a heart exam!