Why you shouldn’t put off regular visits for too long

Life has changed a lot in the last six months, forcing us to postpone or cancel everything from haircuts to celebrations to medical procedures. Although scheduling a colonoscopy, immunization, regular check-up or other routine screening may not be something you are looking forward to, here’s why you might want to move it up on your priority list.

New Stricter Safety Protocols
Most medical facilities have strict cleaning and safety protocols in place to make environments as safe as possible for you and for clinic and hospital staff. But with the recent pandemic, safety measures have increased. It is now standard practice for medical professionals and staff to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) when treating patients; and face coverings, good personal hygiene and social distancing is required for patients and visitors.

Screenings are Necessary for Early Detection
Routine screenings are recommended for a reason — they can detect common diseases that, if detected early, have significantly better treatment options and outcomes. Recommended screenings are based on a person’s age and risk factors, including a family history of a disease.

During regular visits, primary care doctors might screen for a chronic disease like hypertension or diabetes because these diseases can lead to heart disease, kidney disease and other serious complications if left untreated.

Talk to your doctor about balancing the risks and benefits of postponing a screening or checkup for a later date, taking into account your personal and family history, other risk factors, and the timing of your last screening test or check-up. If you are high-risk or overdue for a screening, it’s likely they won’t want you to put off any necessary screenings for much longer.

Immunizations are Vital to Our Wellbeing
With less socializing and kids attending school remotely, many of us will come in contact with fewer infectious diseases. However, maintaining routine immunizations is critical in keeping us healthy — especially for kids, pregnant women, and people with chronic diseases. Along with regular immunizations, be sure to get this year’s flu shot when offered. Handling a flu outbreak and COVID-19 pandemic at the same time could potentially overwhelm our health care systems and disrupt our lives further.