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4 health tests to get in your older years

September 2, 2014

As you approach your golden years, your doctor will perform different tests to screen for certain age-related illnesses. Even if you're in good health, it's important to visit your doctor consistently to make sure you stay that way. Here are four of the screenings you will need to get regularly to ensure healthy aging:

1. Bone density scan
As you age, the health of your bones becomes a bigger priority. Women over the age of 50 are especially at risk for osteoporosis, as menopause can make bones more brittle, reported the National Health Service of the U.K. The source explained that a bone scan involves a special type of X-ray that measures bone density and helps identify osteoporosis before it causes any issues. Most symptoms of the condition don't occur until a bone is broken, so this test is important in preventing injury.

2. Stress test
During your next exam, and especially before starting a new exercise program, you may want to request a stress test. While staying active is part of a healthy lifestyle for seniors, exerting yourself in a different way could be damaging to your body if you're not careful. The Cleveland Clinic explained that the test requires participants to exercise on a treadmill for a period of time while their heart rates are measured. Periodically, a medical professional will check in to see how you're feeling and, if everything goes well, you'll be approved to start an exciting new physical activity.

3. Colonoscopy
According to the American Cancer Society, regular colonoscopies should be performed on adults between the ages of 50 and 75 to screen for certain types of cancer. Early detection is important to better treat the cancer and keep you living longer and healthier. After the age of 75, it's not as much of a concern, and the test will only be performed on individuals with certain risks, including family or personal history of related medical conditions and abnormal findings.

4. Eye tests
Since vision problems are more likely to develop as you get older, your doctor will probably perform several eye tests, noted the NHS. He or she will screen for glaucoma, a condition where fluid builds up in the eye and gradually cause vision loss. Most cases are detected during an exam and can be treated with surgery. The source also noted that if you have diabetes your doctor will likely screen for retinopathy, a complication of diabetes that affects your vision. Get these tests as you get older to ensure healthy vision.