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As you age, the body undergoes many different changes that can affect your life significantly. In fact, a person’s age can be a risk factor for the occurrence of some diseases. This is why older people are considered vulnerable groups, particularly for COVID-19 and similar diseases, and need to take a more proactive approach when it comes to managing their health. One way of doing this is by being aware of the different health exams that seniors should get.
Tests that Older Adults Should Undergo
Here are some of the necessary health tests that seniors should have:
- Blood Pressure Check
High blood pressure is pretty common. As much as 64% to 69% of people aged 65 and above have hypertension, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Knowing if you have hypertension can help you manage your health better, specifically since symptoms of this disease can only become apparent when blood pressure is too high already. When this happens, the risk for heart attack and stroke is doubled, if not tripled. Have a blood pressure check at least once a year. Note that the frequency of the tests may increase if you show symptoms.
- Lipid Tests
As one ages, there is a risk for an increase in the level of cholesterol and triglyceride levels. A lipid test can show if your blood lipids are within healthy levels. Once it shows that you have high levels of bad cholesterol, you may be advised to undergo lifestyle changes, improved diet, and medications to manage it.
- Oral Exam
Oral health becomes more essential with age. Some diseases may present themselves through an oral cavity. Older individuals may also take medications that can have a significant effect on their dental health. Your dentist may do a periodontal exam during one of your dental visits. In this instance, they will take a radiograph of your jaw and check your oral cavity for any signs of diseases.
- Eye Exam
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, adults should have a baseline eye screening once they reach 40, as most cases of presbyopia start at this age. From the initial exam, the doctor can determine how frequent the follow-ups are. Regular eye check-ups may be necessary because age is also a risk factor for increasing the incidence of cataracts and glaucoma. Take this exam to protect your eyesight.
- Hearing Tests
For older adults who may note a decreased hearing level, getting an online hearing test may be necessary. Presbycusis is a condition wherein older individuals will experience loss of hearing as they age. About 30% to 35% of adults aged 65 years and older will complain of hearing loss, and this will become even more pronounced as they reach 75 and older.
- Colorectal Cancer Exam
Individuals aged 50 and above should undergo a colonoscopy once every 10 years, mainly if you have a positive family history of colon cancer. A colonoscopy is a procedure where doctors use a camera to scan the colon for the presence of a cancerous polyp. Detecting colorectal cancer early increases the chance of treatment success. In some low-risk individuals, a digital rectal exam may be enough. However, it can only check the lower area of the rectum.
- Bone Density Scan
About 75 million people have osteoporosis. While both men and women are affected, there is a much more significant effect for women, particularly as they enter their menopausal stage. Doing a bone density scan can reveal your bone health and indicate if there is a need to take supplements.
These are just some of the essential exams that seniors must take to maintain good health, allowing you to cope with the aging process.