Posted on: 24 October 2016Share
A lot of the time you only go to the doctor's clinic when we are already feeling sick. However sometimes visiting the doctor earlier, before you get sick, can prevent you and your family from having more health issues down the track.
Here are some proactive steps you can take to help keep your family healthy.
Make sure everyone's vaccinations are up to date
While a lot of focus in the community is on children's vaccinations, it's important for all members of the family to keep their vaccinations up to date. This includes getting annual flu vaccinations for vulnerable people such as asthmatics, pregnant women and the elderly. Additionally, anyone who comes into contact with young children should make sure that their whooping cough (pertussis) boosters are up to date as there has been a resurgence of this virus in the wider community, in part because vaccination rates have fallen. Whooping cough can be deadly for babies, the elderly and people with compromised respiratory systems such as asthmatics.
It's important to get a range of annual checks done including blood pressure, cholesterol and height/weight readings. By getting these done before you are ill the doctor has a baseline of what healthy readings are for you on each test. Additionally, they can identify trends on an annual basis, such as blood pressure increases, and work with you to identify lifestyle changes that may be able to manage these issues early on. This can limit the need for expensive medications and painful treatments later on and prevent serious health issues.
Checking skin marks and freckles
Australia has a very high rate of skin cancer due to our sun-loving climate. If you have any concerns about changing freckles or itchy moles it can be a good idea to discuss these with your doctor early on. While in many cases the spot may be benign, melanoma can be an aggressive form of cancer so the earlier you can get the spot checked and biopsied, the sooner any necessary treatment (including getting the spot removed) can occur. The doctor can also note the size and shape of existing moles and freckles so that any changes will be identified at your next annual check-up.
If you are feeling healthy, there is no better time to head to a family clinic for a check up. Doctors can ensure your vaccinations are up to date, check that funny freckle you've been worried about and make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol are fine. This can help keep you and your family healthy for longer.