You should visit your health care provider regularly, even if you feel healthy. The purpose of these visits is to:
Even if you feel fine, you should still see your health care provider for regular checkups. These visits can avoid problems in the future. For example, the only way to find out if you have high blood pressure is to have it checked regularly. High blood sugar and high cholesterol levels also may not have any symptoms in the early stages.
There are specific times when you should see your provider. Below are screening guidelines for men ages 18 - 39.
BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING
- Have your blood pressure checked every 2 years unless is the top number (systolic number) is between 120 - 139 or the bottom number (diastolic number) is between 80 - 89 mm Hg or higher. Then have it checked every year.
- Watch for blood pressure screenings in your neighborhood or workplace. Ask your provider if you can stop in to have your blood pressure checked. Or check your blood pressure using the automated machines at local grocery stores and pharmacies.
- If the top number is greater than 140, or the bottom number is greater than 90, schedule an appointment with your provider.
- If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to have your blood pressure checked more often.
CHOLESTEROL SCREENING AND HEART DISEASE PREVENTION
- Men over age 34 should be checked every 5 years.
- If you have risk factors for heart disease, such as diabetes, start getting screened earlier, at age 20.
- If you have diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems, or certain other conditions, you may need to be checked more often.
- If you have a body mass index (BMI) greater than 25 and have other risk factors for diabetes, you should be screened. Having a BMI over 25 means that you are overweight.
- Go to the dentist every year for an exam and cleaning.
- If you have vision problems, have an eye exam about every 2 years.
- After age 19, you should have a tetanus-diphtheria and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine once as part of your tetanus-diphtheria vaccines. You should have a tetanus-diphtheria booster every 10 years.
- You should get a flu shot each year.
- You should get the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine series if you have not already had it.
- You should receive 2 doses of varicella vaccine if you were born after 1980 and never had chickenpox or the varicella vaccine. Your doctor may recommend other immunizations if you have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes.
INFECTIOUS DISEASE SCREENING
- Depending on your lifestyle and medical history, you may need to be screened for infections such as syphilis, chlamydia, and HIV, as well as other infections.
- You should see your provider for preventive health exams every 2 years.
- Healthy young people usually do not need blood tests.
- Your height, weight, and BMI should be checked at every exam.
During your exam, your provider may ask you about:
- Diet and exercise
- Alcohol and tobacco use
- Safety, such as use of seat belts and smoke detectors
- The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force now recommends against performing testicular self-exam. Doing testicular exams has no benefit.
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