Which Exams & Vaccinations Are Routine For Adults?
Keeping up with routine medical exams is a big part of monitoring your health. According to the CDC, up to 90% of serious health issues can be avoided or prevented if treated at an early stage.
Below is a list of general screening recommendations. Talk to your doctor to determine which exams are best for you and how often you should schedule them.
- General Health Exam – Even if you are in good health, it’s important to visit your primary care physician on an annual basis.
- Dental Exam – Those without tooth or gum issues are generally advised to visit the dentist for a cleaning and exam once or twice a year.
- Eye Exam – Those with vision problems are advised to go for an annual eye exam. Otherwise, it’s good practice to go once in your twenties, twice in your thirties, and more frequently after age 40.
- Skin Exam – You should always remain alert for skin abnormalities and talk to a dermatologist if you notice skin changes. Monthly mole self-examinations are also important!
- Cholesterol Screening – Men age 35 and older and women age 45 and older generally begin routine screenings for lipid disorders. Both men and women with risk factors for coronary heart disease should be screened starting in their early twenties.
- Blood Pressure Testing – Adults age 18 and older should be regularly screened for high blood pressure during their doctor’s appointments.
- Colon & Rectal Exam – It is often recommended that screening begins at age 50, though exams may start earlier for women or for those with a family history of colon cancer. Talk with your doctor to see which testing is right for you and how often you should be tested. Testing can help catch disease at its earliest, most treatable stage!
- Prostate Screening (Men) – The American Cancer Society recommends that men make an informed decision with their doctor about whether to be tested for prostate cancer. Starting at age 50, men should talk to a doctor about the pros and cons of testing so they can decide if testing is the right choice for them.
- Clinical Breast Exam (Women) – It is recommended that women in their twenties and thirties have this routine exam done at least every three years. Starting at age 40, it becomes an annual preventive exam. Monthly self-examinations are important too!
- Mammogram (Women) – Yearly mammograms are recommended starting at age 45 and continuing for as long as a woman is in good health.
- Pap Testing – It is routine for women to begin cervical cancer screenings at age 21.
Staying up-to-date with vaccinations is also part of being healthy. Vaccines can provide immunity to severe illnesses and help keep those around you safe as well.
Below is a list of general immunization recommendations. It is very important to discuss medical history and vaccine history with your doctor to best determine which immunizations may be right for you.
- Influenza (Flu) Vaccine – Advised annually during flu season
- Pneumococcal Vaccine – Usually administered once or twice in lifetime
- Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis Vaccine – Tdap is given once in a lifetime with a follow-up Td booster every 10 years
- Shingles Vaccine – Talk with your doctor to see if you should receive this vaccine
- COVID-19 Vaccine – Talk with your doctor about vaccine options and what’s best for you
Please note that these recommendations are not in place of medical guidance. Exams and vaccines may vary depending on health history. Talk to your doctor about the best health practices for you.