One of the reasons why it is so important to have health insurance is that it makes it possible to get yearly physical exams and preventative medical care. Conscientiously getting your annual exam is one the best things you can do for your health. The following are some of the reasons why a yearly physical is so critical to your health overall.
Reasons To Get An Annual Exam
Even if you are healthy, it is still important to have a physical exam every year. The following are some of the reasons why this is such an important measure for protecting your health:
- It strengthens the patient/doctor relationship: If you know and like your doctor, you are more likely to visit when you have concerns, discuss your health issues openly, and listen to the doctor’s advice.
- It establishes baselines: This can help both you and your doctor in making important healthcare decisions in the future.
- It helps prevent future health problems: Having a physical annually allows your doctor to observe any changes that have occurred over the previous year, identify risk factors that could lead to future health issues, offer expert advice on how to manage them, and encourage healthy lifestyle choices.
- It allows your doctor to review your medications: Reviewing your meds with your doctor is the best way to ensure you are getting the best treatment available and to avoid possible side effects and drug interactions.
- It lets you update your vaccinations: Flu, pneumonia, shingles, hepatitis, and other vaccinations are an important precaution to help you avoid illness and time away from work.
- It saves you money in the long run: If your doctor sees you every year, he or she can detect health problems before they become more serious and costly.
What Can Your Doctor Do For You In Your Annual Physical?
- Annual exams are the time when your doctor can screen for several health issues. The types of screenings most physicians request in a yearly physical include:
- Blood pressure
- Blood glucose
- Body mass index (BMI)
- Osteoporosis (for older women and men)
These tests are performed to help identify health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Based on the results, your doctor can make recommendations for additional diagnostics or exercise, diet, and lifestyle changes to help manage any conditions or health risks detected.
Both adults and children should be kept up to date on vaccinations. During your annual exam, your doctor can review your risk factors and vaccination history with you and recommend immunizations, which may include:
- Flu shot: This vaccine is recommended every year for most people over the age of six months.
- HPV vaccine: This shot protects against cancer caused by the human papillomavirus and is recommended for both boys and girls ages 11 to 12. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending catch-up shots for men and women up to age 26 and for adults ages 27 to 45 who have not been previously or adequately vaccinated.
- Pneumonia shot: Your doctor may recommend this vaccine if you have asthma, are over the age of 65, or smoke.
- Shingles: This vaccine is recommended for most adults ages 60 and older.
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