Checking Up on Your Health with Annual Check-Ups

With 2018 just around the corner, you’re probably making holiday plans and drawing up your Christmas wish list. But here’s a thought: before 2017 is over, try to find time to get one of your recommended yearly screenings. Tests like eye exams or your Annual Wellness Visit can play an important role in catching small health problems before they become big ones.

So take a look at the list below and try to make your appointments this month. Doctor office appointments fill up as the end of the year looms—and a new annual deductible kicks in.

Here are a few checkups to consider getting between now and the end of the year:

Annual Wellness Visit. During your Annual Wellness Visit, your doctor may:

  • Review your medical and family history
  • Update a list of your current medications
  • Discuss your lifestyle, abilities and needs such as weight loss, fall prevention and nutrition

Some screening tests you should discuss with your doctor:

  • A1C diabetes test. This is used to diagnose Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, as well as to assess how well you’re managing your diabetes.
  • Blood pressure check. While many people check their blood pressure at home or at the local pharmacy, it’s important to have your blood pressure checked by your physician.
  • Bone density exam.  This is a test for osteoporosis, or weak bones. The results can help your physician make recommendations based on your risk factors.
  • Colorectal screening. There are three ways of testing:
  1. Non-invasive testing, such as the FIT screening which can be done at home and without fasting
  2. Flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years
  3. Colonoscopy every 10 years
  • Eye exam. Diseases of the eyes, such as macular degenerationcataracts, and glaucoma become more common as people age. Screening may help preserve your vision or reveal warning signs of problems. In addition, if you have diabetes, it’s extremely important to have your vision test as the disease is a leading cause of blindness.
  • Mammogram. This screening is an important tool for diagnosing breast cancer.

Talk with your doctor about screenings you may need to add into your annual prevention plan. And remember to read up on Health Rewards if you are a BCBSNM Medicare Advantage member. 

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