Health Education

Turning 40? 5 Health Checkups You Should Get Done

By | August 18, 2015

We often associate getting older with more visits to the doctor, but people of all ages are at great risk for a number of health issues. Here are five tests doctors recommend taking before you turn 40.

During our early adult lives, our physical well-being isn’t always top of mind — especially when we’re healthy. And while we may exercise, eat well, and feel great, it’s still important to check for issues that may go unnoticed without closer inspection. These five tests are a great place to start.

1. Cancer screening

A doctor holding a cancer screening test.
Vancouver Coastal Health/flickr

According to the American Cancer Society, cancer screenings should be a part of regular health check-ups, even as early as in your twenties. A person shouldn’t wait until symptoms begin to show, as you risk fighting an uphill battle from the start.

Screenings are designed to catch cancer in its earliest stages, improving the success rate of aggressive treatment options.

Since there are many types of cancer, there isn’t one prescriptive testing routine. Some screenings, such as for breast or cervical cancer, should be done more frequently, while colon cancer testing, for example, is often only necessary when family history or other factors indicate a likelihood of occurrence.

In any event, cancer screenings ensure you’re healthy and that you stay that way, lending you the peace of mind that only comes with a clean medical chart.

2. Audiogram

A person wearing headphone.
Sascha Kohlmann/flickr

If you frequently listen to loud music or have a hard time following conversation, it might be time to check your ears. According to Real Simple, there are nearly 30 million Americans living with measurable hearing loss – you can find out if you’re one of them by scheduling an audiogram.

And if you do test positive for hearing loss, your doctor will find helpful ways to keep it from worsening, and, if necessary, provide you with a potentially life-changing hearing aid.

3. Dental Screening

A woman smiling.
Ryan and Sarah Deeds/flickr

There’s a lot of truth in the saying that a smile is the secret to success – don’t let it fade by avoiding the dentist.

While many people find regular trips to the dentist unappealing — to say the least — a regular exam provides much more than a cleaning: according to the Mayo Clinic, dental exams evaluate your risk for tooth decay, gum or bone disease, jaw problems, and even oral cancer.

4. Eye Exam

Eye examination tools.
noir imp/flickr

Even if you see well, routine eye exams are vital to your overall health. Beyond updating a prescription, an eye doctor checks for common eye diseases.

Not to mention that “eye doctors often are the first healthcare professionals to detect chronic systemic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes,” according to All About Vision. So go ahead and update your prescription for those stylish new frames— it’s good for your health.

5. Heart Exam

A doctor holding a stethoscope.
Alex Proimos/flickr

Heart disease — no matter your age or sex — is not something to ignore. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States.

That’s why regular blood pressure checks are essential — high blood pressure can lead to stroke, heart disease, and heart failure. You should also have your cholesterol and glucose levels examined, which, when high, may also lead to heart disease.

Can I Afford a Check-Up?

Despite the importance of regular check-ups, many of us avoid them because we lack insurance or can’t afford expensive copays. If you’re like the many millennials who want to hold onto their savings, SingleCare offers a new and affordable healthcare option. It allows you to seek medical care on an as-need basis – you only pay for treatment you receive.

With or without insurance, you’ll have access to SingleCare’s extensive network of doctors and medical professionals. And you’ll often see a discount over what an insurance plan would provide, such as an average of 36% off dental visits and up to 50% off general care. Plus, it’s free to join.

(Main image credit: www.audio-luci-store.it/flickr)