Oh, the joys of growing old! It may seem strange, but there are many perks to aging. For instance, there is the independence you longed for and the excitement in seeing yourself become the woman you’ve always wanted to be. However, to enjoy these perks, you must stay in good health by taking care of your body and mind. Many women struggle in doing so because they don’t know where to start. A simple and safe starting point to living a life of good health and longevity is to get checked regularly by health professionals. So, what health checks are essential for women as they grow older? Here are a few.
Eye and ear tests
When you think of difficulty hearing or seeing, you may think of an older woman, all cute and frail. Maybe you’re that older woman? Although age contributes to difficulty hearing and seeing, it is not the only cause. Some lifestyle behaviours such as straining your eyes behind your computer screen for long hours or working in a noisy environment play a role in declining vision and hearing health. Therefore, it is vital to go for eye and ear tests to assess their health.
If you already wear glasses or have an issue with your vision, keeping up with your appointments with your optician is advisable. For hearing loss, it is vital you consult your hearing aid specialist to monitor your auditory health, upgrade your hearing devices, or learn effective hearing aid maintenance practices.
Breast cancer screening
The sad truth is that women are more susceptible to being diagnosed with breast cancer than men. In 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 2.3 million women worldwide were diagnosed with breast cancer. Experts believe that this is because a woman’s breast cells are constantly exposed to the effects of estrogen and progesterone. When these growth-promoting hormones begin to “act abnormally,” a woman is at risk of developing breast cancer. One of the telltale signs of breast cancer is a lump in the breast. This is why women are encouraged to monitor their breasts monthly to ensure no growth.
However, you can also visit your health center for mammography. Mammography is a technique that uses x-rays to examine the breast to detect any irregularities and tumours. Although these are not essential for women below 40, it is advisable to get a mammogram once every six months– especially if you have a history of cancer in your family or feel an unusual development in your breasts.
Cervical cancer screening
Like breast cancer, cervical cancer affects women, but it can be found in only women. This is because this cancer affects the cervix, located in the lower part of the uterus. The major cause of this cancer is the sexually transmitted disease human papillomavirus (HPV). Experts advise that women over 21 should get a pap smear test every three years.
As a sexually transmitted disease causes this cancer, it is also advisable that you get you to check your STI status. This would also help you detect other infections such as chlamydia and syphilis and seek treatment immediately.