Scheduling a wellness exam is the next best thing you can do for your health. You don't have to be sick to go for it. You can discover underlying conditions from a wellness exam before they become more advanced. Additionally, you have a better chance at treatment if you diagnose health problems early. Thus, your healthcare provider will guide and advise you on the proper treatment. As such, it'd be best to take it once in a while. So, here's a complete guide to wellness exams:
What Is A Wellness Exam?
A wellness exam is an impromptu visit to the doctor to ascertain you don't have underlying conditions. It ensures your overall health is stable. On the other hand, you can also have it if you already know that you have a complex medical condition. The exam helps you stay aware of any situation that could arise in your body. You can counter it by changing your living standards. It's an excellent form of preventative health care.
The wellness exams incorporate screening and tests that evaluate your body functions. At the end of the test, you're given a written plan to help you keep track of treatment and medication. This way, you significantly improve your overall health.
Is Annual Wellness Exam The Same As An Annual Physical Exam?
A physical exam is typically more intense than an annual wellness exam. The first entails checking your body's reflexes by performing essential body part examinations. The latter includes a health assessment test. Here's some more information on physical exams and the types of tests you'd take during a visit:
- Head And Neck Exam: Your doctor could ask you to open your mouth and utter some words. It opens up your throat and tonsils and can check for abnormalities. It also involves evaluating your dental health by checking your gum and telling if the color is okay. Also, doctors could raise some concerns if you have bad breath. The head and neck exams also involve an eye, ear, and nose. The exam can disclose some problems, such as jaundice or yellow eyes.
- Neurological Exam: It's an evaluation of a person's neurons. It assesses the sensory neurons, motor response, and reflexes, determining health impairments. It usually comprises a series of tests to examine your brain, muscle strength, and central nervous system functions. The exam helps your doctor discover any neuro-related conditions. Some conditions that could arise from problems associated with your neurons include epilepsy or seizure disorders.
- Pap Test And Pelvic Exam: It checks for any gynecological problems associated with the female reproductive organs. It involves a Pap test to check for early signs of cervical cancer.
- Breast Exam: It checks for abnormalities around your breast area. Using their fingers, the doctors caress through your breast to your underarm and collarbone. The exam aims at detecting any lumps. By doing so, the doctor can tell its shape, size, and texture. Such features help them make a diagnosis and give way forward.
- Heart Exam: The doctor listens to your heartbeat using a stethoscope. The exam might detect abnormal heartbeats or heart murmurs, which can be an early indication of heart disease. For instance, a heart murmur can direct the doctor to your blood flow. It could be flowing through the wrong valve. Your heartbeat could increase and force the heart to overwork. The exam is vital to finding some clues pointing to a heart problem.
- Extremities Exam: In this exam, your doctor checks your pulse. Some pulse changes attribute to symptoms of unhealthy complications. The exam is carried out on the upper extremities, which include your hand, back, and chest. The lower extremities have the limps, knee joints, and hips. The exam looks for pulse changes or pressure areas. It could also reveal pain, edema, bruises, or pressure areas that can be checked during an extremities exam. The doctor can check your skin's lesion, turgor, or hyperpigmentation during the exam.
- Skin Exam: It's recommended since it helps your doctor identify suspicious growth or changes that may lead to skin cancer. The human skin 1https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/picture-of-the-skin is the largest body organ. A skin test can help your doctors realize other conditions, such as rash, acne, eczema, and melanoma. Luckily, most skin conditions can be treated using ointments or beauty products. However, it's best to get a professional's opinion. Your dermatologist knows your skin type and will tell you the correct treatment procedure for your case.
- Lung Exam: The inspection stage of the exam monitors breathing patterns through thoracic breathing, costal breathing, or the use of accessories. The doctor will note your breathing and the inner muscle's positions, such as the diaphragm. They could indicate some struggle with your airwaves hence warranting a diagnosis.
Note that a wellness exam can include a physical exam. Other checks that can be done on your wellness exam include:
- Cross-examination based on your family history
- Shots and immunizations
- Checking your body mass index
- Discussion of current health lifestyle
- Review of your surgical history
- Simple vision and hearing tests
Your doctor will ask you to fill in a health risk assessment (HRA) as part of the procedure for a wellness exam. The questions help your healthcare provider develop a preventive measure plan. Most of the questions distinguish your psychosocial and behavioral risks.
What To Bring To Your Annual Wellness Exam
When going for a wellness exam, here's a list of things you should bring, plus information you should provide:
- Insurance card
- Medical records
- Medication and supplements you're currently taking
- Family's health records
- The treatment you're currently undergoing
- A list of healthcare providers you're working with
Your doctor might need some insights into your health and medical history. That's why filling in the HRA questionnaire your healthcare giver provides is essential.
How Much Does A Wellness Exam Cost?
Note that your insurance provider already covers some tests. However, you'll have to pay extra if your doctor carries out some additional tests. On that note, it's best to find out what tests the insurer covers before visiting the hospital. Some tests covered by insurance providers are bone density measurements, flu shots, and preventive cancer screening.
On the same note, the insurance cover determines how often you can have the exam. An example is Medicare part B. You can have the exam annually.
Benefits Of A Wellness Exam
It's vital to keep up with your health and well-being. One approach that ensures you stay healthy is figuring out the symptoms early. The notion that you don't have to go to the doctor until you're sick is wrong and misleading. There's value in a wellness exam. Here are the benefits:
Become Proactive With Your Health
A wellness exam assists in educating you about your health conditions. After your doctor carries out some tests, they have raw data that can be used to advise you on health-related matters. For instance, your family history plays a significant role in your health. Some illnesses are genetic. Genetic disorders can be transferred from parents to their children.
Various factors, such as environment and lifestyle, influence them. As such, the wellness exam exposes some rare conditions from mutations. With your healthcare provider's help, you'll better understand the symptoms and prevention measures. They can suggest some in-home physical therapy or treatment options for the disorders.
Diagnose Diseases In Their Early Stages
A wellness exam will help your doctor get an overview of your health year after year. The analysis can alert them to progressive trends indicating some disease. Note that some health complications can occur anytime. For instance, high blood pressure has no noticeable symptoms. It can be exposed to major complications such as strokes or heart attacks.
If your doctor cross-examines the results, they can pick up on some cues and discover the underlying condition in their early stages. You can better control the illnesses with an early diagnosis. A wellness test can be considered an essential tool to help you monitor a disease.
Learn To Manage Chronic Illnesses
During your doctor's visit, you'll discuss your exam results. At this point, you can ask the doctor anything concerning your health. If you have a chronic illness, the doctor can share some insights on managing the conditions best.
Remember, chronic diseases last long and require ongoing medication. As such, it's best to learn some coping mechanisms to aid in a quick recovery. You'll also gain some lifestyle skills alongside your medication. For instance, the doctor can suggest what to put in your diet to achieve the proper nutrients.
Identify Your Risk Factors
The results can indicate a high chance of getting a specific disease. However, your doctor will help you know the risk factors and how to avoid them. Identifying the risk factor is vital because you can prevent the disease by reducing the chances of contracting it.
They can also send you to a specialist for further observation. The specialist can have more advanced equipment to look for finer details and give a conclusive diagnosis. They'll initiate treatment as soon as they discover the problem. It gives you a better chance to survive and avoid the severe effects of the illness.
Correct Unhealthy Habits
You need a wellness exam so that you can prevent future ailments. In the process, you learn healthy habits and how to maintain your health baseline. If the doctor takes a physical exam, they can help you rectify poor lifestyle choices.
For instance, if the doctor realizes you have weak bones and don't exercise, they'll advise you on some home workouts you can start with. Progressively, you'll graduate with more advanced activities that help your physique. Alternatively, they can send you to a nutritionist who'll give you a detailed review of what to include in your menu. Eventually, you regain your muscle strength.
Additionally, some sitting positions can cause a strain on your back. A wellness exam can be used to tell how severe the impact is. Your doctor will also guide you on how to correct such. Therefore, a wellness exam is crucial in correcting some unhealthy behaviors.
Keep Up-To-Date Immunization Records
Vaccine shots go a long way toward reducing the chances of getting a disease. They give the body solid immunity to fight back infections. The wellness exam can remind you about critical immunization dates to follow.
Even after you're diagnosed with an illness, the wellness exam can help you understand the treatment's effectiveness. You'll also learn if you need to see a specialist if the vaccines and immunization don't work.
Improve Your Quality Of Life
Dealing with some illnesses can affect your emotional and physical health. Some will trigger depressing thoughts. However, with some wellness tips, you can be sure to change your health conditions.
A wellness exam involves the evaluation of your brain and body functions. The doctors can identify what's causing a specific illness and advise on improving your quality of life. It could be a diet or lifestyle change that could steer you to better health.
Create A Personal Wellness Plan
Wellness exam results can help you draft a healthcare routine. You can decide to take on some exercises that boost your immunity. It could also include several visits to a specialist for close observation. After the health assessment, you'll typically develop a plan of action. For instance, if the wellness exam alluded to lung problems, you can plan on quitting smoking for better lung health. On the same note, you can avoid visiting cold places that could create a conducive environment for other allergies.
Instead of waiting until you're sick to get tests and exams, keeping tabs on your health by having regular wellness exams is essential. Besides, it's best to detect illnesses early enough so you can start treatment. The sooner you start treatment, the better. You'll get a faster recovery because the disease hasn't fully developed.
To this end, wellness exams are vital and excellent in helping you be in charge of your health. Ensure you have the wellness exam annually to keep your health in check. Coordinate with your doctor on regular checkups if the result shows signs of an illness.
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