Monday, January 15, 2018

10 Medical Screenings You Should Have in 2018

If you have a New Year's resolution of improving your health, you may want to consider a few medical screenings to expedite the process. Many of these screenings can catch a health problem in the early stages, allowing you to take care of it fast.

Medicare Osteoporosis Screening

If you feel like you're not as tall as you once were, it may not be your imagination. Osteoporosis and other problems with bone mass can cause you to shrink up to two inches per year. When you see your doctor, ask about comparing your vital statistics from 2017 to see if there are significant changes.

Blood Pressure

A blood pressure check takes less than one minute and can help your doctor monitor your risk for stroke, kidney failure, or heart attacks. Blood pressure will often change gradually, so performing this screening annually can help you compare your numbers from previous years and catch any unusual patterns.


As with blood pressure, cholesterol numbers may sneak up slowly, making this a good test to have performed every year. Not all cholesterol is bad, however. Your doctor will check both your HDL and the LDL levels.


High-Density Lipoprotein, or HDL, cholesterol is known as the "good" cholesterol. You want this number to be at least 60, as this particular cholesterol destroys the "bad" cholesterol. The more HDL you have, the lower LDL you'll likely have.


Low-Density Lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol is the cholesterol you don't want. This is the fat which sticks to your arteries. You'll want this number to be lower than 120 if you have no other risk factors for heart disease. If you have risk factors, you want it to be less than 100.

Dental Screenings
If you don't have much risk for gum disease, you may be able to have this performed once during 2018. If you have a history of periodontal disease, you'll want to see a dentist every six months. You'll want to see a dentist for more than just dental hygiene, however.

Dentists are able to catch early signs of oral cancer and infections which may cause severe health problems down the road. You can find more information on what dental expenses Medicare covers here.

Cancer Screenings

From mammograms for women to testicular screenings for men, annual cancer screenings are essential for those over the age of 65. They take little time and can provide early warning signs of cancer, allowing you to start treatment as soon as possible.

Vision Checks

Annual eye exams can help detect problems such as cataracts as well as glaucoma, allowing you to see clearly for years to come. In addition to preventing complications such as blindness, annual vision checks can help prevent falls and the associated physical damage which can occur from them.

Hearing Check

An annual check of your hearing can catch signs of hearing loss at an early stage, allowing you opportunities to use hearing aids or other methods of assistance. You don't want to miss your grandchildren singing their favorite songs or talking to you on the phone, so make sure you can hear them clearly.


A yearly check of your blood sugar can detect signs of pre-diabetes as well as signs of Diabetes II. Untreated diabetes can cause kidney failure as well as blood flow problems, so early detection and a healthy diet is key to treatment.

Mental Health

In addition to your physical health, it's a good idea to have a mental health screening performed in 2018. Issues such as depression, anxiety, and mood disorders are not limited to young adults. Screening and treatment can help you enjoy your retirement years without the weight of mental health problems weighing you down. Staying up to date on Medicare and mental health coverage is crucial. 

Cognitive Ability

In addition to mental health, it's a good idea to have a screening to check your cognitive abilities. From memory to intelligence, you want to ensure your mental abilities are not declining with age. This screening can provide early detection of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

You're young enough to enjoy your retirement years. Consider taking advantage of these screenings to keep your body and mind healthy for as many years as possible.


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