Annual health exams are important for everyone including men of all ages. Even if you feel completely healthy, early symptoms of common men’s health issues are often silent and only detectable through proper testing. Take a look at what to expect during a routine men’s health exam.
Physical Exam and Review of Health History
Men’s health exams start off with a review of health history and updating any major changes in your life that are unexpectedly related to your health, such as a new marriage or job, as well as obvious changes to your health like the use of a new medication. Then it will be time to check vital signs like your blood pressure and heart and respiratory rates.
Next, your provider will examine your outward appearance from head to toe for obvious signs of concern, including your hands and wrists for signs of musculoskeletal problems. Various medical devices will then be used to view inside your eyes, ears, nose, and throat and to listen to your heart and lungs. Your provider may also touch various parts of the body such as the abdomen to detect abnormalities. They’ll also check reflexes and motor function.
Screenings and Lab Tests
In addition to routine vital checks and a physical exam, certain screenings and lab tests will be given or recommended depending on your age. Routine lab tests such as a CBC (complete blood count) and complete metabolic panel are used to detect underlying issues in the kidneys, liver, blood system and immune system. All men over the age of 20 should have a cholesterol screening as recommended by their provider to help determine their risk for heart disease, especially those with a strong family history of cardiovascular problems. Other screenings you may need depending on age and family history include colorectal, prostate and testicular exams. If you are sexually active and unmarried, your provider may also recommend an HIV test and STD panel.
Vaccines aren’t just for children. Adults need vaccines throughout their lifetime. For instance, men under 21 should receive the HPV vaccine to prevent the development of HPV-related cancers and older men should receive the shingles vaccine.
Annual health exams aren’t just to check physical health. Your provider will ask about any concerns you have including issues with your mental and emotional health.
Now that you know what to expect, scheduling your annual men’s health exam should be a little less daunting. Request your appointment now at 662-348-3342.