Men don’t like going to the doctor (which is a shock, we know). According to the CDC, men are half as likely to go to their annual screenings than women are. And that’s a problem. Most long term health issues are difficult to detect without medical diagnostics. High blood pressure, for example, isn’t exactly something you can look in the mirror and notice the symptoms of.
Your annual visit, then, will be dedicated to a series of routine screenings designed to gage your health and catch problems early. Most appointments are quick, easy, and ultimately reassuring (seriously).
What Happens During Your Annual Visit
For most men, your annual visit will look very similar from year to year. That’s because your doctor will be looking for certain indications of possible issues and of your overall health. In general, your health screening will include:
- Cholesterol screening: Your overall cholesterol count will give your doctor strong indications about your risk for heart disease. If your cholesterol is outside of the healthy range, your doctor will be able to recommend behavior and lifestyle changes or prescribe medications that will help.
- Blood pressure screening: Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can cause exceptional damage to your body over time, especially as you age. High blood pressure is not always related to diet or exercise–sometimes it’s simply genetic. You can be screened for high blood pressure, and medication can be prescribed if you have hypertension. View more resources here.
- Immunization maintenance: Your immunizations don’t stop once you graduate from high school! There are several immunizations that you may need as you age, including the annual flu vaccine. Which vaccines you require will depend on your health history, lifestyle, and other factors.
- Diabetes screening: Diabetes can develop at any age. This can sometimes happen because of diet and exercise factors, whereas in other cases it may be genetic. If you have developed diabetes, controlling your condition will be essential to maintaining your health.
Your annual screening will also consist of a physical exam, in which your doctor will look for signs of infection or other health concerns. Most screenings will also have a mental health component designed to detect symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues.
What Are the Benefits of Annual Exams?
It cannot be emphasized enough that annual physical exams have significant benefits for your overall health. Many health conditions can manifest silently–that is, without noticeable symptoms. When detected early, these health conditions can be managed and mitigated. But the longer these issues go undetected, the more irreversible damage can occur.
Put simply, annual visits can save your life. But they can also preserve your mobility, your quality of life, and your ability to live pain-free. Diabetes, for example, is a condition that can usually be managed with medication. But untreated diabetes can result in significant health issues, ranging from nerve damage to cardiovascular disease to foot damage. The damage caused by diabetes is usually irreversible–but preventable. So the earlier the disease is detected, the more easily it can be managed.
Most annual exams are completed within an hour, ensuring only minimal interruption to your daily routine. That’s a small price to pay for a healthier life!
For important details regarding screenings for men, read our Annual Exams for Men resource.
Why Should You Make Your Appointment Now?
Men, in particular, have been socially conditioned to “tough it out,” especially when simple aches and pains don’t interfere with your daily life.
But an annual screening can give you substantial peace of mind. You’ll know your health is in a good spot–or you’ll know to get it there, if possible. Either way, you’ll be able to make healthcare decisions based on what you know, rather than what you fear.
If you’re ready to take control of your healthcare and schedule your annual exam, contact our Yankton Medical Clinic, Vermillion Medical Clinic, or Norfolk location to schedule an appointment today!