It’s no surprise since COVID-19, preventive medicine has become less essential to the public. Many Americans have been led to postponing their annual screenings and physical exams, in an effort to keep themselves out of harm’s way. But this can actually lead to more damage than it can good.
There has been a common pattern found among many patients affected by the novel coronavirus…underlying health conditions. Though many fear being exposed to this infection, now is not the time to ignore your health and do away with necessary preventive appointments. Why? Because chronic disease or illnesses left untreated can make you more susceptible to illnesses like COVID-19.
What is Preventive Care?
Preventive care is routine checkups that can detect and prevent hidden illness early, typically before visible symptoms arise. It helps patients maintain optimal health throughout their lifetime, in hopes to extend their overall lifespan. These visits can be anything from wellness exams, like physicals or well-child visits, to vaccination updates and cancer screenings.
But, prevention of chronic illness even includes taking care of yourself through a well-balanced diet, daily exercise, and ridding unhealthy behaviors like smoking or drinking. Your body is your most valuable asset. So, it’s important to keep it in check and monitor the status of your health all year long, even in the midst of a pandemic.
Are Screenings Necessary?
The best way to prevent illness is by getting age-appropriate screenings that can detect early signs of chronic disease. The top 5 most preventable illness and diseases include:
7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. are caused by chronic disease, and 75% of all healthcare costs are due to those chronic illnesses. Without preventive care and screenings, leaving these underlying health issues untreated and undiagnosed can ultimately lead to an end result like a respiratory failure (due to infections like COVID-19) or even death.
What if In-Office Preventive Care isn’t Safe Right Now?
While we recognize the fear and concern of in-office visits at this time, let us assure you that our clinics are taking every precaution necessary in order to create a safe environment for both our patients and staff. In fact, we’ve even started offering telehealth visits for a limited time to extend our care to those who don’t need to be seen in-office! This allows us to optimize our patient’s health, while also protecting our community. However, virtual appointments do not apply to all visit-types and cannot fully replace an office visit. Illness and disease can only truly be found by examining a patient in-person, as well as checking vital signs and doing necessary blood work.
We understand if you’ve decided to push your annual physical back a few months, but don’t assume that it’s okay to postpone it until next year – especially since many conditions are found inadvertently when treating other illnesses.
The Bottom Line
At Eagles Landing Family Practice, we believe “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And, even in ordinary times, leaving medical conditions untreated can be a recipe for disaster – but more so during a global pandemic when risks are at an all-time high.
Preventive care is the key to reduce your health risks. So, let us not neglect our well-being now when we are at our most vulnerable state. Schedule your yearly routine visit today!