What is a health screening?
A health screening, as opposed to a diagnostic test, is a general method of testing to see if you have health problems or a disease even if you look and feel well. A screening can involve a variety of physical examinations, tests, and other procedures in order to check a range of possible ailments.
What is the difference between a screening and a regular appointment?
Making an appointment with your doctor for a screening is an act of preventative maintenance. Nothing has to be wrong with you in order to have a screening. In a regular doctor’s appointment, there is often a focus on existing health concerns or symptoms which are then tested directly. In specifically testing one kind of ailment, it is possible to miss other things that might be wrong.
Why is this important?
Health screenings are important for everyone in order to catch health problems early. For adults age 35-65 and up, these are especially important. As you get older, your risks for heart-related issues, some cancers, and other diseases increase. Regular screenings can help catch them early if they exist, and avoid them if they don’t.
When should you get screened?
Depending on the type of screening that is best for you, the frequency can differ. Talk to your doctor about which screenings you should be looking for. Here are a few examples:
- Obesity – Once a year
- Hypertension – Once every 2 years
- Diabetes – Once every 3 years
- Breast cancer – Once every 2 years
These are merely recommended. Your doctor will help you figure out what the best test and frequency is for you.
What should you do after a screening?
If your screening comes back clean, congratulations! You are probably healthy. To make sure that nothing does develop, however, you need to return for your next regularly scheduled screening per your doctor’s recommendation. You may also speak with your doctor about ways you can make sure to stay healthy and avoid disease. If your screening was normal but you find yourself developing symptoms later, don’t wait for your next screening and make an appointment with your doctor right away.
If your screening results are abnormal, follow up with your doctor immediately. Catching disease early on is the best way to manage or cure it, and is the reason that screenings are so important to begin with.
Where can you get a health screening?
Health screenings are available at doctor’s offices, hospitals, clinics, and even most pharmacies. Make an appointment today with Dr. Seidmeyer by calling 972-542-1180.