This isn’t an opinion. It’s a fact: according to the National Institute of Health, men go the doctor 50 percent less than women.
Men aren’t immune to the many common and unfortunate health-related issues that anyone can develop. Men can get the cold. Men can get the flu. Men can get diabetes. Men can get cancer.
And men can prevent many of these health conditions from occurring if they take better care of themselves.
The following information makes up the OurHealth Men’s Chart for Healthy Aging. This chart is 100 percent important. Read it. Embrace it. Engage it. This information may be the difference in helping you live your fullest and happiest life.
Osteoporosis is a condition that makes bones weak and more likely to break. You may not know you have osteoporosis until you sustain a fracture. The National Osteoporosis Foundation cites that approximately two million American men already have osteoporosis and about 12 million more are at risk. Each year, about 80,000 men will break a hip. A bone density test can aid in the diagnosis of osteoporosis along with other biochemical and radiological studies. There are both pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies that your healthcare provider may recommend after reviewing your evaluation. Osteoporosis can sneak up on you, so start taking steps now to protect your bone health.
Aashish Shah, MD
Medical Associates of Central Virginia
Lynchburg | 434.947.3944
The rules for eye care are not gender specific. What is recommended for women also holds true for men and children. Our first eye exam should be between the ages of three and five. This is not solely for the purpose of prescribing eyeglasses, but primarily to rule out muscle imbalances, amblyopia (lazy eye) and eye disease. During the pre-teen and teenage years, we often see hereditary vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. These conditions can be corrected with eyeglasses and contact lenses. By the early to mid-40’s presbyopia starts to set in. This is when we begin to have difficulty reading and seeing near objects. Multifocal glasses and contacts are often used to solve these vision problems. The 60’s often bring on sight restricting opacities known as cataracts. If we all live long enough, we all will likely develop cataracts. Surgical removal is the only treatment for cataracts. Other aging maladies of the eye include glaucoma and macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is usually a disease of the elderly; however, glaucoma can occur at any age. Yearly exams are highly recommended not just for those who need eyeglasses, but for anyone to minimize the risk of sight threatening eye disease. I tell my patients the worse time to see me is when they can't see!
Gary St.Clair, OD
St. Clair Eye Care
Langhorne Road | 434.845.6086
Timberlake | 434.239.2800
Appomattox | 434.352.5908
By visiting the dentist regularly you can make sure your teeth and mouth stay in great shape. It is important to have your teeth cleaned and an oral examination and oral cancer screening exam every 6 months. Dental x-rays are very important and should be taken every year. They are the only way the dentist can check for cavities between the teeth. Fluoride treatments in the dental office are great for both children and adults to help prevent cavity formation. The goal of seeing the dentist every 6 months is to prevent the formation of cavities and periodontal (gum) disease and to detect the presence of any oral disease. Early detection and prevention is the best way to keep your teeth and mouth in the best possible health. Make sure you have your next dental check-up scheduled!
Shane Claiborne, DDS
Forest | 434.515.1388
Taking care of your feet has many benefits for men of all ages. We often focus on pills and supplements to enhance our performance in a lot of our activities. But all men can benefit from the following simple suggestions.
- Good shoes and socks are a must. They protect our feet from damage such as ingrown nails, corns, and blisters to name a few.
- Keep nails trimmed straight across and short. Wash your feet daily, making sure to dry between the toes and apply a medicated powder between the toes in the morning and a good moisturizing cream at night.
Healthier feet allow us to walk more, lose weight, decrease stress, and increase those chemicals in our bodies that will enhance all of our activities.
Michael Overfelt, DPM
Advance Foot Center
Lynchburg | 434.384.0481
Sun protection and skin cancer prevention start with daily sunscreen application on exposed skin. A sunscreen with SPF 30+ and one that is protective of both UVA and UVB rays is recommended. UV protective clothing labelled with UPF+, such as long-sleeved swim shirts and wide-brimmed hats are also very effective and convenient. Tanning beds should be strictly avoided by patients of all ages. These devices are known to cause skin cancer. They also damage collagen in the skin, resulting in premature aging.
Patients should see a dermatologist for any new, changing, bleeding, scabbing, or non-healing skin lesions. Those with a personal history of skin cancer or substantial sun damage, a significant family history of skin cancer, as well as anyone over the age of 50, should be seen every 6-12 months for a complete skin examination by a dermatologist.
Jason Givan, MD, FAAD, FACMS
Lynchburg | 434.363.4190
It is recommended that men (and women) have a colon screening every ten years beginning at age fifty. Patients with a second or third degree relative with colon cancer or colon polyps are considered average risk. However, patients with one or more first degree relatives (mother, father, or sibling) with colon cancer or colon polyps are at high risk and should begin screening at age 40 or 10 years prior to the age that a first degree relative was diagnosed. Typically, a colonoscopy is repeated every three to five years for those at higher risk. Other high risk factors include personal history of colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps, inflammatory bowel disease causing pancolitis or longstanding active colitis. African Americans are diagnosed with colorectal cancer at a younger age than other ethnic groups and are recommended to begin colorectal cancer screening at age 45 rather than 50.
Knowing your risk factors to any disease can help guide you into the appropriate actions, including changing behaviors and being clinically evaluated or monitored for the disease.
Jennifer Brown, RN
Gastroenterology Associates of Central Virginia
Lynchburg | 434.384.1862
Our team of audiologists recommend adult hearing screenings every 10 years through age 50, followed by every three years thereafter and when one or more of the following occur:
- Prior to beginning chemotherapy or ototoxic medications
- Difficulty following directions at work
- Complaints of loud volume on the television
- Withdrawal from personal or social situations due to embarrassment over hearing problems
- Background noise situations become difficult
- Tinnitus (buzzing, roaring, or ringing noises in the ear), especially if one-sided
- Unilateral (one-sided) hearing loss
- Difficulty understanding children’s and female voices
- Conflicts with others due to verbal misunderstandings
- History of frequent ear infections
Danny Gnewikow, PhD, FAAA, CCC
Audiology Hearing Aid Associates
Lynchburg | 434.528.4245
Danville | 434.799.6288
Blue Ridge ENT’s allergy services is Lynchburg’s only comprehensive allergy and sinus center. Allergies can cause problems of the ears, eyes, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and skin. Allergies are controlled by avoidance, such as keeping windows closed in your home and car, wearing a mask for yard work, and not drying laundry outside. Some people respond well to medications (oral or topical nasal sprays), but the only cure for allergies is immunotheraphy, otherwise known as “allergy shots.”
Jay Cline, MD
Blue Ridge Ear, Nose, Throat & Plastic Surgery
Lynchburg | 434.947.3993