Essential Health Tests You Should Have from Your 40s and 50s

As you get older, you are at greater risk for a large number of health issues. Your hearing and eyesight can deteriorate, and your general health can decline. You are more likely to develop several types of cancer. And you could have problems with your heart or joints. There are many health issues you should watch out for so that you can treat them as soon as possible. While some conditions can never be cured, you can find the right treatment to address them. The earlier you can detect a problem, the sooner you can begin to alleviate any pain and other symptoms. It will also help you avoid having something develop into further issues. If you’re entering your 40s or 50s, here are some of the tests you should start thinking about.

Cholesterol Check

Getting your cholesterol checked is something that more people should do. Cholesterol is one type of fat in the body, and it’s important to keep its levels healthy. High levels of cholesterol building up in the arteries can cause significant problems. It could increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke. It is affected by your diet, and the only way to know how high your levels are is to get tested. The only other sign of high cholesterol is having something serious happen, and by then it could be too late. Testing your cholesterol involves a simple blood test. If it’s too high, some lifestyle changes can help you to manage it and bring it down.

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Blood Pressure Check

Your blood pressure can be either too high or too low. A huge proportion of older people have high blood pressure, and many of them don’t know it. High blood pressure makes your heart work harder, causing it to become eventually weak and place a strain on your arteries. This increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as kidney disease. Checking your blood pressure doesn’t even involve any needles. A quick test with a blood pressure cuff might feel slightly uncomfortable, but it won’t hurt. If you do have high blood pressure, you might also need to have your kidneys checked. Many people take medication for hypertension, but you can also make changes to your life to manage it.

Glucose Levels Check

Type 2 diabetes has become a common condition, and it’s closely linked to weight. Watching your weight is essential if you want to reduce the risk of developing diabetes. You might also consider having your glucose levels checked. If you’re over 65, it’s recommended that you have a diabetes screening every three years. However, some people should have them more often. Certain risk factors, such as being overweight, might mean that you should be screened earlier or more often. It’s a good idea to ask your doctor to see if they recommend any particular timeframe.

Eye Exams

Your eyesight can begin to deteriorate as you get older. As well as possibly needing glasses, you can be at risk of a number of eye conditions. For example, glaucoma is more likely in older people. You could also develop macular degeneration or cataracts. Sometimes your ethnicity and gender, as well as your age, can increase your risks for these conditions. Having a regular eye exam will help to detect them. You should have one every year or two, even if you don’t  think anything is wrong. Of course, if you do think there’s a problem, you should make an appointment with an eye doctor.

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Hearing Tests

Your hearing can also decline with age. Many older people use hearing aids to help them hear more clearly. You probably don’t need to have a regular hearing test, as you do with an eye test. One of the benefits of an eye test is that it can pick up on other issues, whereas that’s less likely with a hearing test. You should go for a hearing test if you notice any signs of hearing loss. It’s also important to listen if other people suggest you might be having hearing problems. Learn more about the signs of hearing loss at Lions Hearing, and how you can improve your hearing. The signs can be easy to miss, and other people might spot them before you do. They can include finding it difficult to follow a conversation or hearing people incorrectly.

Mammograms

Women of any age should perform regular self-examinations of their breasts. It’s best to do this once a month, at around the same time each month. Try to avoid doing it at times when your hormones might affect the shape and feel of your breasts. Once women reach their 40s or 50s, it’s important to start having medical checks too. Mammograms can be unpleasant, but they’re designed to detect signs of breast cancer. Breast cancer is more common as you get older. Not all experts agree that there is a benefit to having a mammogram in your 40s, but it’s recommended for your 50s. You should have one every one to two years, depending on other risk factors. These may include a family history of breast cancer.

Prostate Exams

Men should also make sure they’re screened for cancers that can affect them. However, prostate exams are no longer recommended for men who have no symptoms. A prostate exam can also do more than detect signs of cancer. Men can also experience other conditions, such as prostatitis. As well as a physical examination, doctors will often perform PSA testing. These can indicate the presence of cancer and other conditions.

Colon Cancer Screening

Both men and women should be screened for colon cancer. Experts recommend screening between the ages of 50 and 75. You should also have tests if you are under 50 with a family history of colon cancer. There are several ways to test for colon cancer. They include having a fecal occult test, a flexible sigmoidoscopy and a colonoscopy.

There are even more health issues to watch out for as you get older. It might seem daunting, but it will all become part of looking after your health for a better quality of life.

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