To keep our bodies healthy, we need to have regular diagnostic screenings to detect problems early. Early diagnosis and intervention offers the best prognosis for avoiding disability and premature death. These are five screening tests that every woman should have to ensure good health.
Complete Eye Examination
Regular complete eye examinations are the best way to protect your vision from damage caused by glaucoma. Glaucoma encompasses a group of eye diseases that, if untreated, can progressively lead to blindness.
Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve. There is no cure, but early detection, medication and surgery are vital to stop the debilitating progression of the disease.
The Glaucoma Research Foundation has recommended a complete eye examination that includes two tests, tonometry and ophthalmoscopy. Tonometry measures the inner pressure of the eye. Ophthalmoscopy allows examination of the inside of the eye, especially the optic nerve.
Before the age of 30, one should have a complete eye exam every two to four years. After the age of 30 and up to age 54, it is recommended to have an exam every one to three years.
People between the ages of 55 and 64 years old should have an exam every one to two years. Any one 65 years old and older should have a complete eye exam every six months to one year.
People who are at a high risk for developing glaucoma and are over the age of 35 should have an exam every one to two years.
A screening mammogram is a diagnostic X-ray performed to detect breast cancer before a lump is felt. It usually involves two X-rays of each breast. According to the National Cancer Institute, it has been recommended that women who are 40 years old and older should have a screening mammogram every one to two years.
Women who have a higher than average risk for developing breast cancer should talk with their health care providers about having a screening mammogram before the age of 40 and about how often one should be done.
A colonoscopy is a procedure that allows a gastroenterologist to visualize the entire large intestine.