Even if you managed to avoid COVID-19, you may still suffer health-related consequences if you delayed or missed routine medical care during the pandemic.
In the past year, more than one-third of adults aged 18 to 64 have postponed or went without care because of the global pandemic. While this caution is appreciated and understandable, it is now time to start taking steps to catch up on missed appointments. In fact, more than 30 percent of those adults say missing that care or getting it late negatively affected their health, ability to work or ability to perform other daily activities, and we don't want that to be you!
Whether you missed appointments out of fear of COVID-19 exposure or found limited access to medical services, it’s time to reclaim your health. Regular checkups and screenings help you prevent serious conditions, such as high blood pressure (hypertension), cancer and pneumonia. Finding issues early also increases your chance of successful treatment.
Not sure where to start? The first step in reclaiming your health is figuring out exactly what medical care you need to schedule. If you answer no to any of the following questions, you’ll need to address that area of your health:
Have you had a well visit within the past 12 months? Most primary care providers recommend a checkup every one to two years. If you haven’t been to your provider in over a year, make an appointment. Your doctor will check your blood pressure and help you get the tests and screenings you missed.
Are you up to date with recommended preventive care? Lab tests, immunizations and cancer screenings are vital to good long-term health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force have specific preventive care recommendations for all adults. Talk to your doctor about what preventive care you need.
Have you been to the dentist in the past six months? Dental visits are not just about cleaning your teeth. Your dentist also performs an important screening to look for signs of oral cancer and gum disease.
Are your prescriptions refilled and up to date? Good health means taking your medications as prescribed. Missed medications for chronic conditions and mental health issues may lead to unpleasant side effects and increased risk of the condition you’re trying to manage. If you’ve run out of refills or your medication has expired, give your doctor a call to remedy the situation.
Once you have an idea, you can start scheduling those appointments out. We recommend starting with your primary care provider and dentist, and then following up with any additional needs you may have!