Especially if you’re run off your feet looking after your family, it might be hard to find time to focus on yourself. If you’re not careful, this can mean you don’t look after your health properly. So, to stop you from putting your wellbeing at risk, here are three health checks you might benefit from doing this year.
Sexual health may not be something you think about or talk about a lot, but it’s important to be aware of the risks. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) don’t always show symptoms, meaning some people have these infections without realising it. For example, most people with chlamydia, which is the most common STI in the UK, don’t know they’re infected. If you think there’s even a small chance that you’ve been exposed to an STI, it’s well worth getting checked out. You can do this by visiting your GP, a sexual health clinic or a genitourinary medicine clinic. It’s even possible to order certain STI tests online.
You might also want to take the opportunity to arrange to have a vaccination against the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). Transmitted during sex or by skin to skin contact with the genitals, this group of viruses can cause genital warts and cancers of the cervix, vulva and vagina. You can find out more about how to arrange these vaccinations and the benefits of doing so from pharmacies such as LloydsPharmacy Online Doctor.
Setting aside time to go to the optician might not be your top priority, especially if you’re not aware of any problems with your eyes – but a trip to get your eyes tested may be more important than you think. As well as potentially spotting problems with your sight that can be remedied with glasses or contact lenses, these tests can detect early signs of eye disease before you notice any symptoms. For example, your optician can look out for indicators of diabetes, glaucoma and macular degeneration. Early treatment is essential with conditions like these, so it’s not wise to skip eye tests.
Experts recommend that you should get tested every two years, or more frequently if you have diabetes or a family history of glaucoma.
After all of this cold weather, you might be looking forward to soaking up some sunshine when summer finally arrives. However, it’s important to be aware of the damage the sun can do to your skin, and to keep an eye on any changes that could indicate you’re at risk of developing skin cancer. This is one of the most common cancers in the world. Each year in the UK, over 100,000 people are diagnosed with the disease.
One warning sign to watch out for is changes to any moles you have. Keep a close eye on these blemishes, and arrange to see your doctor if a new or existing mole changes shape or colour, looks uneven, starts itching, bleeding or flaking, or becomes larger or more raised. Although it may be nothing, it’s vital that you get checked out by your GP if you notice these changes. Being vigilant when it comes to skin health could save your life.
No matter how busy you are, it’s well worth making time to do health checks like these. They’ll put your mind at ease and they might stop you from developing potentially serious medical problems.