20s and 30s
Test: Blood pressure test
Why? High blood pressure often doesn’t come with obvious symptoms, but left untreated, it could become a major risk factor for a stroke, heart disease and heart failure. Long-term high blood pressure can also affect other less-obvious body parts such as the eyes and kidneys, so it makes sense to monitor it now to see where you sit in the blood pressure range.
Where? This simple test can be carried out at your nearest clinic.
Test: Cervical Screening Test
Why? Singaporean women above the age of 25 will be urged to get a cervical cancer screening once every five years if they have no abnormalities in the screening test prior. Currently the recommendations are for a Pap smear every two years — to identify cervical cancer and stop it in its tracks while it’s in its pre-cancerous stage.
Where? Your local GP or gynaecologist.
Test: Dental check for wisdom teeth
Why? If you didn’t get your wisdom teeth through in your teens, it’s a good idea to have a dental X-ray to see what’s going on under the surface of your gums now. Removing impacted wisdom teeth before they cause pain or infection saves you from toothaches and helps to keep your other teeth healthy, too. Some dental experts suggest that removing impacted teeth sooner rather than later is best because youthful roots make teeth easier to pull and healing time is faster. Your dentist knows best!
Where? Your dentist.
Test: Healthy weight check up
Why? While every body is beautiful, the more unnecessary weight you carry, the more you’re at risk of developing certain types of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. A Body Mass Index (BMI) scale is a widely-used calculation to see if you’re a healthy weight for your height. It’s often a good starting point to assess your weight and provides a weight goal if you are deemed at risk.
Where? Your GP or pharmacist.
Test: Glaucoma check
Why? Glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs when the nerve connecting the eye to the brain is damaged, usually due to high eye pressure. While glaucoma can happen at any age, without early detection it can lead to permanent vision impairment and blindness so experts recommend routine glaucoma checks from the age of 40; 35 if you have a family history of the condition.
Where? Your local ophthalmologist or optometrist.
Test: Hearing test
Why? According to government findings, about one in six Australians have some kind of hearing loss and the likelihood of hearing loss increases with age. Checking your audio levels and potentially getting fitted with a hearing device early on can go a long way to ensuring you’re not straining and damaging what natural hearing you have left.
Where? Your GP can refer you to an audiologist to investigate your hearing further.
50s and beyond
Why? Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer affecting Singaporean women, and around 75 per cent of all breast cancers occur in women over the age of 50, so early detection is crucial. Women of all ages are encouraged to conduct regular self-examinations at least once a month and, if they notice anything of concern (regardless of age), see their doctor as soon as possible.
Where? Singapore Cancer Society direct or via your GP.
Test: Chronic disease health assessment
Why? If you think you’re showing signs of developing a chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease, get a health assessment done. The test is designed to help patients make the necessary lifestyle changes to prevent or delay the onset of chronic disease.
Where? Your GP.
Test: Bone density scan
Why? A bone-density scan is a way to measure the strength of your bones. As you get older, your risk of osteoporosis increases and this fast and painless scan may be recommended to identify symptoms.
Where? Check with your GP who can refer you for further investigation, if necessary.