Men typically visit the doctor less than women do. Whether that’s because men are afraid of what they might be told at an annual check-up, they dread the probes that can be part of an exam, they’re locked into a mindset of toughing it out, or another excuse, there’s really no good reason NOT to see a healthcare provider regularly. Just like women, men may also be affected by common conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, depression. They may also have conditions that are specific only to men. What’s more, keeping up with preventative medical visits is not something you should do just for yourself. It’s also something that your family and loved ones can benefit from.

Check out the Men’s Health Checklist below to see what screenings or examinations you might need as a healthy adult. It can serve as a starting point to understanding your general health-related needs.

Keep in mind that this checklist is not comprehensive, so it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs. For example, ask about what tests he or she recommends, and how often you should get screened or have follow-up appointments. And be sure to share your medical and family history, personal preferences, and lifestyle with your provider to help him or her develop a preventative health plan that is tailored for you.

Annual wellness exam. These visits focus on preventive care and may include vaccinations, screenings to check for diseases, and education and counseling to help you make informed health decisions. Your height, weight, and body mass index (BMI) will likely be checked at every wellness visit. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about your diet and physical activity levels. Additional tests and exams may be needed to manage any chronic illnesses you may have. Your healthcare provider may also check your testicles for lumps, a change in size, and tenderness. These could be signs of a problem.

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Bone mineral density test. Men 70 years old and older should have the test at least once. Men aged 50 to 69 who have risk factors or men who have broken a bone after age 50 should also have the test.

Colorectal Health

Colonoscopy. Men at average risk for developing colorectal cancer should have a colonoscopy at age 50 and then every 10 years. Men with inflammatory bowel disease or a family history of colorectal cancer may need to start screening earlier than age 50 or have screenings more often.

Diabetes

Blood glucose test. Screening usually starts at age 45 and is normally done every 3 years. Screenings may begin earlier or be done more frequently if you are at risk for diabetes (for example, being overweight or having high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol).

Eye, Ear, and Dental Health

Eyes. At age 40, all adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease should receive a baseline comprehensive eye evaluation. But see an ophthalmologist before age 40 if you have a preexisting eye disease, a family history of eye disease, or if you have a risk factor for developing one, such as high blood pressure or diabetes. Any man who has visual changes, injury, or other ocular symptoms should also see an ophthalmologist. Men 65 and over with no risk factors should be examined every 1 to 2 years. This exam should include having your eyes checked for signs of cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. For all men, if an eye disease is detected, the frequency of eye exams will vary. Talk with your ophthalmologist about what your schedule should be.

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Ears. Talk with your healthcare provider about a hearing test if you are having any issues with your hearing. Dental. Men should have a dental exam and cleaning every 6 to 12 months unless recommended otherwise.

Heart Health

Blood pressure. Men should have their blood pressure checked once every 2 years beginning at age 20. If your blood pressure is higher than normal (120/80), your healthcare provider may check it more often. Cholesterol. Most men should have their cholesterol checked every 4 to 6 years beginning at age 20. If your healthcare provider thinks you may have an increased risk of heart disease or stroke, he or she may check it more often.

Abdominal aortic aneurysm. A one-time screening is recommended for men 65 to 75 years of age with a history of smoking.

Immunizations

Adults need to get shots (vaccinations), too. Ask your healthcare provider if you are up to date with your vaccines. Men 50 years of age and older should get vaccinated to prevent shingles. Men over 65 should be vaccinated against pneumonia. Men 21 and younger should be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus virus (HPV). Men 26 years old and younger who have or intend to have sex with other men, are transgender, or who have HIV should also be vaccinated.

Mental & Emotional Health

Talk with your healthcare provider if you feel sad, down, or hopeless.

Prostate Health

Men 50 years of age and older should talk about screening for prostate cancer with their healthcare provider. African-American men and men who have a family history of prostate cancer should discuss screening at age 45.

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Sexual Health

Sexually transmitted infections:

HIV tests. All men between the ages of 15 and 65 should be screened at least once. Talk with your healthcare provider about how often you should be tested after the initial screening.

Syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Screening at least once a year is recommended for all sexually active gay, bisexual, and men who have sex with men (MSM). MSM who have multiple or anonymous partners should be screened more frequently (at 3- to 6-month intervals) for STDs. Additional points to discuss:

Sexual problems. Talk with your healthcare provider about any issues you may have with erectile dysfunction, less or no interest in sex, or problems with ejaculation.

Infertility. If you think you may be infertile, talk with your healthcare provider. Fertility tests and treatments that may help are available.

Skin Health

Talk with your healthcare provider if you notice any skin changes or unusual moles, or if you have a family history of skin cancer. Protect your skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays by putting on sunscreen and wearing sunglasses, a hat, and long-sleeved clothing.

Culled from Get Healthy