We often assume that a medical problem will announce itself with unmistakable pain or a noticeable dysfunction. But in many cases a problem can develop slowly over time, so that we barely notice it happening. And because little problems can become big problems in time, we urge you not to ignore these five small, but very important parts of your body.
Eyes. Even if you’ve always enjoyed perfect vision, diseases of the eye can happen to anyone. After age 50, seek a regular eye exam each year to check for diseases of the eyes like glaucoma and macular degeneration. When caught early, these conditions are treatable, but when allowed to go undiagnosed they can cost you your sight.
Teeth. If you brush and floss your teeth regularly, you might assume that you don’t have to visit the dentist as often as other people. This is an especially common mistake in those who don’t suffer from cavities. But anyone can develop gum disease. And actually, those who don’t get cavities seem particularly susceptible! So, continue to visit your dentist twice per year, regardless of how great your teeth have performed so far.
Feet. You might not think about your feet until they start to hurt, but this would be a mistake. Problems in your feet can actually show up as pain in your knees or hips! Make sure to wear good, supportive shoes, and watch for signs of calluses, bunions, and other problems as they develop so that you can seek medical care quickly.
Ears. Hearing loss develops slowly, and by age 75 about half of us will suffer some degree of hearing problems. Hearing loss is a safety issue, a quality-of-life issue, and even impacts your balance. So once you turn age 60, seek regular hearing screenings and corrective care when necessary.
Pelvic core. Although more common in women who have experienced childbirth, both men and women can develop problems with their pelvic core. And this can lead to incontinence, pain, and even prolapse of internal organs. Strengthening your core muscles can help, but you might need a referral to a specialist.
No part of the body is too small to receive regular medical care. Remember to mention all of these issues to your general practitioner at your annual checkup and follow up on their recommendations. With good preventive care, you can protect your quality of life and quickly remedy many things that go wrong with your health.