Your overall health is important for improved quality of life and peace of mind. Preventative care is a way to keep you healthy while detecting diseases and illnesses when they are treatable, reducing complications. However, people don’t usually think about visiting hospitals until they experience a health problem. This could be because they want to save the money that they spend on screenings and tests even when they are completely fine. Nevertheless, preventative care reduces death rates and healthcare expenses. Do you know how? Let us discuss it.
What Is Preventative Healthcare?
Preventative healthcare aims to detect conditions before they develop symptoms and become a concern, preventing diseases from developing further.
There are three types of preventative care:
- Primary Prevention — Medical intervention is provided before health issues occur through measures such as vaccinations, lifestyle changes (eating a well-balanced diet, quitting smoking, etc.), and withdrawing the use of substances known to cause disease.
- Secondary Prevention — Includes screenings (such as mammography, HIV test, regular blood pressure test, etc.) to detect health conditions in the early stages.
- Tertiary Prevention — Includes chemotherapy, rehabilitation, and screening for further complications to manage the disease post-diagnosis to slow or stop its progression.
What Is Covered in Preventative Healthcare?
Preventative healthcare encompasses a series of healthcare services focused on screening for diseases or their symptoms:
- Annual Physicals – Help manage your health and include medical history review, blood tests, and health screenings for vitals and other health conditions.
- Cancer Screenings – As most cancers don’t cause symptoms in the early stages, screenings are recommended for early detection and treatment. They include pap tests, mammograms, tomography, colonoscopies, etc.
- Vaccinations – Protect you against some diseases, decreasing hospitalizations and fatalities. You must get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B, chickenpox, Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), pneumonia, and measles and rubella.
- Annual Flu Shots – They can help reduce your risk of getting the flu, and even if you get it, the vaccine reduces the chances of serious symptoms that could lead to hospitalization.
- Diabetes Screening – Diabetes is associated with several health conditions, such as kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, etc. So, earlier diagnosis helps you take proper treatment to control your blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of other diseases.
- Cholesterol and Blood Pressure Tests – High cholesterol and blood pressure can put you at risk of heart conditions and stroke. So, getting them checked periodically will help you maintain them at par levels.
- STI Screenings – STIs don’t cause onset symptoms, and leaving them undetected for a long period can cause serious complications. So, get regular screenings for STIs, such as HIV, chlamydia, hepatitis, gonorrhea, and syphilis.
Also read: Annual Physical Health Check-Ups: Why Is It Essential?
Why Is Preventative Healthcare Important?
The importance of preventative healthcare is listed below:
Improves Your Health and Wellness
Preventative care detects health issues earlier, thus preventing the progression of the condition while helping you manage it effectively with certain measures. This helps you stay healthy.
Reduces Your Healthcare Expenses
You might think that preventative care is a needless expense. However, it:
- Is Cost-Effective – A screening may cost less than hospitalizations for serious symptoms or a life-threatening health condition.
- Helps You Save Money in the Long Run – If problems are detected earlier, you can manage them with simple lifestyle changes, food restrictions, exercises, and medications. You may not need ongoing care at the hospital, saving hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Increases Your Lifespan
Detecting conditions earlier and managing them with proper treatment and medications can help increase your lifespan and standard of living.
Barriers to Accessing Preventative Healthcare
Though many people would like to make the most of preventative healthcare, some things may prevent them from doing so, including:
- Cost – Low-income individuals often don’t think about preventative care, as it may be an added expense.
- Proximity – People living in rural areas don’t want to spend their time and money on transportation and health check-ups when they are healthy.
- Lack of Awareness – Many people are unaware of the significance of preventative care and how it can help them live their life to the fullest.
- Lack of Health Insurance – Most people don’t have preventative insurance services.
Also read: Why is Drinking Enough Water Important to Live a Healthy Life?
Strategies for Promoting Preventative Healthcare
- Expanding Access to Health Insurance - The Affordable Care Act aims to request private insurance companies to cover basic preventative care to remove the cost barrier.
- Increasing Awareness – Government health departments can initiate awareness programs on preventative care to keep people informed about its importance. Healthcare providers also can educate patients on preventative care and offer them complimentary services.
Getting preventative care is one of the least things you can do for your health and well-being. So, get regular check-ups and screenings and adhere to healthy lifestyle habits for a healthy you.
Rely on Us for Your Preventative Healthcare
If you have any questions about preventative healthcare or what screenings you may need, schedule an appointment with us at Newnan Family Medicine. With our best-in-class medical assistance and care, you can stay happy and healthy.