You have probably heard the saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This could not be more accurate. One of the best ways to stay healthy is through preventive care, which includes vaccinations and screenings.
Here, we will take a closer look at preventive care and its two main components: screening and vaccination.
What is Preventive Care?
Preventive care is medical care that you receive to prevent health problems before they develop. It’s like a shield that protects you from diseases.
There are two main types of preventive care: vaccinations and screenings.
Vaccinations are one of the best ways to protect yourself from serious illnesses. By getting vaccinated, you’re not just keeping yourself safe, but also protecting the people around you who might be more vulnerable to these diseases.
Vaccines contain tiny pieces of the germ – either dead or very weak – that cause a specific disease. This stimulates your immune system to produce something called antibodies.
These antibodies are like soldiers in your body. They learn to recognize and fight the germ from the vaccine. So, if you ever come into contact with the real germ in the future, your body is ready. Your antibodies know exactly what to do to defeat the disease quickly.
Many vaccines are recommended by primary care physicians for both children and adults. Some of the most common vaccines include:
- Chickenpox (Varicella): This vaccine protects against chickenpox, a highly contagious disease that can be severe in some cases.
- Flu (Influenza): The flu vaccine is recommended annually for almost everyone over the age of six months. It helps protect against the strains of flu that are expected to be most common each year.
- Hepatitis A and B: These vaccines protect against liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A and B viruses.
- HPV (Human Papillomavirus): The HPV vaccine protects against the types of HPV that most commonly cause cancer.
- MMR (Measles, Mumps, Rubella): The MMR vaccine protects against three diseases (measles, mumps, and rubella) that can all lead to serious complications.
- Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis): This vaccine protects against three serious diseases (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis) caused by bacteria. Tdap is especially important for pregnant women, as it helps protect the baby from whooping cough in early life.
- Pneumococcal Vaccine: This protects against pneumococcal bacteria, which can cause many diseases including pneumonia, bloodstream infections, meningitis, and sinusitis.
- Poliovirus: The polio vaccine protects against polio, a crippling and potentially deadly infectious disease.
- Rotavirus: The rotavirus vaccine protects against rotavirus, the leading cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children.
- COVID-19: The COVID-19 vaccine protects against the coronavirus, which recently caused a global pandemic.
Screenings are a detective tool for physicians. Doctors use these tests to search for signs of health problems before you start to feel sick or show any symptoms. The best part is that finding these issues early usually makes them easier to treat.
The types of screening tests you will need depends on your age, gender, and family history.
Some common screenings that primary care physicians recommend include:
- Blood Pressure Checks: High blood pressure can lead to heart disease and stroke. Regular checks can catch high blood pressure early, so you can treat it before it causes serious problems.
- Cholesterol Tests: High cholesterol can also increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. A simple blood test can tell if your cholesterol is too high.
- Cancer Screenings: These tests check for different types of cancer. For example, mammograms screen for breast cancer, and colonoscopies screen for colorectal cancer.
- Diabetes Screenings: Diabetes can lead to many complications if left untreated. A simple blood test can check for this condition.
- Bone Density Test: This test measures the amount of calcium and other minerals in your bones. It’s used to diagnose osteoporosis, a condition that weakens bones and makes them more likely to break.
Primary Care Physician in Fort Worth, TX
Preventive care, including vaccinations and screenings, plays a vital role in keeping you healthy. It’s all about catching potential problems early and protecting you from diseases. So, make sure to schedule regular check-ups with your primary care physician and stay up to date on your vaccines and screenings.
At Texas Medical Institute, our team of experienced primary care physicians have diverse expertise in family medicine, occupational medicine, and more and offer a variety of preventive care services, like regular check-ups, screenings, and immunizations.
Call us at (817) 615-8633 today to schedule your preventive care appointment or fill out our appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!