As a kid, you probably visited the pediatrician regularly. But as you get older, you may wonder if an annual physical exam is really all that important. The answer is simple: Yes!
Your annual exam is a crucial preventive measure. These visits catch any health issues early and address them before they cause complications or chronic illnesses that affect your long-term health.
At Beth and Howard Braver, MD in Aventura and Hollywood, Florida, our board-certified physicians understand how annual physical exams help you live your healthiest life and keep any chronic or degenerative conditions from progressing.
Take a moment to learn more about your annual physical exam and why it’s so important for your long-term health.
Establish your health baseline
Annual physical exams help your health care team to understand your baseline health. By seeing you when you’re healthy, we can detect changes when they arise.
The first time you come to our office for a physical exam, we establish your health baseline. Then, at your annual visit, we compare your health year after year.
Your visit also provides a time for us to talk to you about your medical history, family health history, and any important lifestyle considerations, like following certain diets or other things that affect your health.
You can use your annual exam to review and change any medications you take and ask for referrals to specialists if you have any areas of specific concern.
Stay on track with preventive screenings and immunizations
Based on your current health, medical history, lifestyle, and recommendations for your gender and age, we also use your annual exam to help you stay on track with screenings and immunizations.
Regardless of age, everyone needs routine immunizations, like tetanus boosters, shingles vaccines, and the flu shot.
Preventive screenings also help us keep watch on your health. For example, a fasting blood test to check your lipid profile measures your cholesterol and triglyceride levels to assess your risk for certain conditions.
If you’re a woman, we can tell you if you need screenings for breast cancer, bone density, or HPV, or a Pap smear for cervical cancer. Men need to stay on track with prostate cancer screenings. And both men and women need regular colon cancer screenings.
Reduce your risk of chronic illnesses
Three in five American adults live with a chronic illness, and around two in five have multiple chronic diseases. Sadly, many of these chronic illnesses, like heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and lung disease, are among the leading causes of death and disability in America.
The good news is that an annual physical exam can help detect these problems and ensure you manage them better. This is because an annual exam allows your doctor to:
- Assess your risk factors for chronic disease
- Record any health changes since your last exam
- Talk to you about lifestyle choices that increase your risk for chronic illness
- Give you concrete strategies to reduce or manage your risk
Many of the most dangerous conditions, like vascular disease, don’t have any noticeable warning signs until a major issue like a stroke hits, earning them the nickname “silent killers.”
When it comes to avoiding and managing chronic illness, your annual physical exam is one of the best tools in your health care arsenal.
Build rapport with your care providers
Having rapport with us is incredibly important when you’re hit with a health concern. Annual exams offer you a chance to get to know your care providers when you’re not sick or in the middle of a stressful medical situation.
At your annual physical exam, you have the opportunity to ask us questions, talk to us about your personal wishes, beliefs, and preferences, and establish trust.
If you’re ready for your annual physical exam or want to learn more about this important preventive health measure, schedule an appointment at our Aventura or Hollywood, Florida, location.