The Medical Tests You Need to Enjoy Your Senior Years in Good Health
By Laura McElroy

Life demands much from our bodies, and the signs of wear and tear begin to show as we get older. Aches and pains are quite common, as are more frequent bouts of illness and the related recovery time. 

You should listen to your body in your senior years as it gives clues when something is wrong. Additionally, there are medical tests you should submit yourself to regularly as a proactive approach to ensuring you are fit and healthy. Here are some examples:

Blood pressure reading

High blood pressure is a silent killer because people do not recognize the symptoms before it is too late. However, as many as 60% of the senior population will experience high blood pressure. Hypertension damages the arteries and veins around the heart and can lead to a heart attack.

A blood pressure check takes less than a minute, and there are several options for getting one. Insist on a check whenever you see the doctor or visit your pharmacy to see if they offer blood pressure checks. If you are diagnosed with hypertension, your doctor will advise keeping a blood pressure monitor at home.

Blood sugar

Type 2 diabetes diagnoses are on the rise. This condition requires the use of insulin as a treatment. Insulin does not come cheap, either, which is why putting in place Medicare Advantage Plans 2021 will help cover the costs of testing kits, syringes, etc.

Russell Noga, an expert from Medisupps, advises seniors to evaluate their current plans now and make the necessary changes for next year. You are entitled to switch between plans, with each having a set of benefits to supplement your Medicare support from the state. Visit MedicareAdvantage2020.org for further information.

Lipid testing

High levels of bad cholesterol cause fatty deposits to accumulate in the blood vessels, most often in the heart’s veins and arteries. They cause restrictions on blood flow, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

People tend to think that cholesterol problems are linked to obesity, but the reality is that anyone can develop high cholesterol. It is best addressed through lifestyle changes, such as a healthier diet and exercise, although medication is necessary in severe cases.

Eyes and ears

Eyestrain caused by too much time reading and interacting with screens means that many people need reading glasses when they are in their forties. However, older people might find their distance vision blurring, and they need spectacles to drive safely. As you age, there is an increased risk of cataracts and glaucoma, so an annual check is advised.

Many older people experience a loss of hearing, which, if left untreated, will continue to worsen and could result in deafness. Therefore, a visit to an audiologist for a hearing test if you feel it is becoming an issue allows for early intervention and less damage to the ear.

Bone density

As the body ages, its ability to absorb calcium and Vitamin D for bone strength declines. This leads to low bone density, leaving you with brittle bones that will break easily should you fall. 

Additionally, it is also the cause of osteoarthritis, a painful condition that many seniors, particularly women, tend to experience. A yearly bone density test can detect such problems early, allowing for quicker treatment response.

In addition to keeping bones healthy, Vitamin D is essential for strong muscles and a robust immune system. There is little Vitamin D in the food we eat as its primary source is the sun. To ensure that your levels are correct, ask your doctor for an annual test.

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