Perhaps the most fundamental ‘rule’ of good health is that the earlier you know there is a problem, the better. Early identification can make a huge difference both to quality of life and overall prognosis for almost all health conditions, but this fact is somewhat overshadowed by a very real problem: many health concerns are simply unnoticeable for months or even years – so obtaining that all-important early identification just by ‘noticing’ a change or symptom can be almost impossible.
Thankfully, help is at hand: there are numerous medical screenings and health tests that can be performed to identify potential issues as soon as possible. In particular, these tests are most beneficial for seniors, so if you are over the age of 60 or are caring for older parents, then here are four tests that can help achieve that all-important early identification for common health issues.
#1 – Blood pressure checks
Hypertension – or high blood pressure – is very common in older individuals due to how the arteries change and stiffen as we age. Given that high blood pressure has been linked to a variety of different serious health conditions, such as heart disease, stroke, and cognitive decline, checking blood pressure is incredibly important. A doctor can check blood pressure during a physical and some pharmacies have blood pressure machines you can use; or you can monitor your blood pressure at home, or encourage a parent to do the same if it is more convenient.
#2 – Cholesterol tests
High cholesterol – a condition that has been linked with several different health conditions, including peripheral vascular disease and stroke – is usually completely symptomless, so testing is the only choice for those wanting to ensure their cholesterol levels are kept in check. It is usually best to visit a doctor for cholesterol testing; though at-home test kits do exist, they can be problematic.
#3 – Hearing tests
Age-related hearing loss (or presbycusis) is the most common form of hearing loss, and is most common in those over the age of 60 – but it’s very difficult to directly notice. It’s more than possible for people to spend years living with hearing loss without even being directly aware, which is especially troubling given that untreated hearing loss is connected with numerous other health issues, such as a higher risk of trips and falls. Hearing tests and assistance from the likes of Listen Lively are therefore a great choice, ensuring that the health of your hearing – or that of a loved one – can be checked and, if hearing loss is detected, effective treatment can be found.
#4 – Eye exams
Eye exams are important for checking the health of your eyes, obviously, but can also provide insight into your overall health. For example, eye exams can detect conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and much more besides, so make sure you, or senior loved ones, schedule an appointment at least once a year.
The four tests above should help ensure that seniors can identify potential health issues as early as possible, much to the benefit of their overall health and well-being.