Medical checks and support

There is a range of health problems that become more common as you age, so regular medical checks and support systems are in place to give you the best chance to live and age healthily. They enable doctors to identify any potential medical problems so that they can be treated promptly. The main tests that you should be going for on a regular basis include cholesterol levels, diabetes, blood pressure, eyesight and hearing.

To have the tests done you can go to a doctor, and some tests you can even do at home. Cholesterol testing is extremely important if you are a man over 45 or a woman over 55, or if you have a family history of high cholesterol levels. The test itself just involves drawing a bit of blood from your arm and testing the cholesterol levels in the sample. Testing for diabetes is simple, and involves taking a sample of your urine to see if it contains glucose. If the test leads to a suspicion of diabetes then a blood sample will be taken to confirm a diagnosis. You should be especially careful if you have a family history of diabetes or if you are overweight.

Blood pressure tests are simple but important because as you age your blood pressure increases, and along with this comes the risk of heart disease, strokes or even kidney failure. An eye test will tell you whether or not you need glasses. Aside from this, it provides a snapshot of your general health. Diseases of the eye like cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are also more common as you get older. If you are over 60, you are entitled to a free sight test. If you're over 50, you are entitled to a free sight test if you need complex lenses, have diabetes, have or are at risk of glaucoma or if you are registered blind or partially sighted.

Hearing tests are simple, and basically involve establishing which sounds you can and cannot hear. You donít have to wait for your next scheduled check-up, if you find that you are having trouble hearing then get it checked out. It is a normal occurrence to lose some of your ability to hear as you get older. If your doctor suspects that you might be losing your hearing then he will refer you to an audiologist. Aside from the basic medical checks and support there are other services you can make use of. As you get older, the body loses its ability to fight illnesses the way it used to. To make your life easier you can get free immunisations for flu and other highly infectious diseases.

Itís important to note that most medical checks and support, as well as treatment on the National Health Service are free. There are, however, some things that are charged, but this will be worked out based on your specific circumstances.

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