Dear EO CLINIC: My husband recently celebrated his 49th birthday. He is generally healthy, and we follow a Mediterranean diet and exercise together a few times a week. But he hasn’t seen a doctor in years, as we move right before the COVID-19 pandemic. Do you think it is necessary for him to have an annual health check by now or wait until his birthday milestone next year?
ANSWER: As men age, even those who are accustomed to good health can experience symptoms that affect their quality of life. I highly recommend establishing care with a general health specialist and maintaining annual visits to ensure patients can stay as healthy as possible.
A well-check visit can help identify your husband’s risk for specific conditions and whether there are screenings or tests that may be valuable to ensure he stays healthy. Also, it would provide the opportunity to discuss any early signs or areas of concern that your husband – like many men – may not feel comfortable discussing with each other.
These are the most common symptoms or issues that affect men’s health.
Urological symptoms and sexual health
Erectile dysfunction, which is difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, is treatable and a good reason to have a cardiac screening. It could be an early sign of heart trouble, because generally, if there are problems with blood vessels in one part of the body, there are likely to be issues elsewhere.
A testicular examination Looking for lumps is essential and a good idea for men who have never had one. Since it was possible that no one other than their partners was looking at their sexual organ many men, it is very valuable to make sure that there are no abnormalities.
Practice can help relieve stressbut if being active is more painful than usual due to musculoskeletal conditions, this is a sign that something else may be going on.
Are there more aches and pains than usual? Does it take longer to recover from injuries? Decreased exercise capacity is often associated with musculoskeletal issues, such as muscle wasting, and inflammatory issues.
Respiratory and sleep health
If your husband is tired and/or out of breath when exercising or just walking around, or if chronic coughit’s time to get screened. Respiratory conditionsas adult onset asthma and Problems related to COVIDamong the possibilities that should be reviewed.
A sign of this is snoring and/or stopping breathing sometimes during the night sleep apnea and other respiratory problems. A lack of quality sleep linked to several health problems, such as higher blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, memory issues, anxiety, depression, and increased appetite that can lead to diabetes and weight gain.
Ear, nose and throat health
Tinnitus, ringing and other sounds in the ears; hearing better in one ear than the other; and ear pain is becoming more common as people work from home and use headphones.
Men with chronic sore throat, especially people who smoke, and/or those with white lesions in their mouth to check for throat cancer. When detected early, the treatment of head and neck cancer can be successful.
Those with unexplained chronic congestion should be screened nasal polyps. Sometimes, a sufferer may feel that it is more difficult to breathe through one nostril than the other.
It can be a sign of a constant feeling of needing to clear the throat or something “stuck in the throat”. gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Mental health it’s a sensitive topic for most people, but it’s often overlooked, especially for men. Whether your husband is in a high-stress career or not, the current environment is so important that it is important to address one’s mental health as well as physical health.
Other conditions I recommend reviewing at an annual checkup include diabetes and cholesterol. Screening for prostate and colon cancer may be worthwhile depending on a family history of cancer. I always encourage men to give up anything new or different. Often, it could be anything, but being proactive to stay in the best health is worth it. — Vikas Mehta, MB, Ch.B.General Medicine, Mayo Clinic Health CareLondon
(Mayo Clinic & Answers is an educational resource and is not a substitute for regular medical care. Email a question to MayoClinicQ&A@mayo.edu. For more information, visit www.mayoclinic.org.)
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