If you’re sick or have a health concern, you’ll likely go see your doctor. If you’re like the majority of people in the U.S., however, you likely aren’t visiting your provider much when you feel fine. We want to encourage you to start changing that habit.

Under a preventative healthcare model, doctors help their patients prioritize wellness before health issues develop. Here’s a closer look into what this type of care entails and why it’s so important.

What Is Preventative Care?

Simply put, preventative (or preventive) healthcare includes everything you do to stay healthy. As its name suggests, preventative services may help prevent common illnesses, such as the flu virus, as well as more serious conditions like kidney disease or cancer. Each person’s needs for preventative care are uniquely based on their lifestyle, family history, and other specific health risks, which is why your doctor plays a critical role in making these recommendations.

Why Is Preventative Care Important?

Preventative care empowers you to stay on track with your health. Most infants and children receive preventive care check-ups early in life, but by adulthood, many people begin to fall off course. In fact, millions of Americans don’t receive the preventive care they need, for a variety of reasons. But preventive care can help everyone do the following:

  • Prevent serious illnesses. It’s estimated that nearly 40 percent of deaths in the U.S. are caused by preventable factors. When you check in regularly with your doctor, they can discuss lifestyle factors and wellness strategies that boost your odds of avoiding serious illness. From heart disease and diabetes to certain types of cancer, many serious illnesses can be avoided with the right care.
  • Identify health issues early. Of course, not all health issues can be avoided, but many can be treated successfully when they’re caught early. Many forms of cancer, for example, are most treatable with early diagnosis. Other key health indicators, such as blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol levels can be early warning signs of cardiovascular disease or diabetes. Tracking these metrics over time allows doctors to monitor your health actively and step in if needed to prevent serious issues, such as heart attack or stroke.
  • Reduce healthcare costs. Preventive healthcare is less expensive than treatment for more serious conditions. That means you could save on your personal healthcare costs by seeing your doctor regularly. Practicing preventive care could also help to control the costs of healthcare both nationally and globally.

What Are Some Examples of Preventative Care?

Almost every decision you make to care for your body has the potential to support or get in the way of preventative care. But the specific care you receive from healthcare providers can include:

  • Annual checkups
  • Cancer screenings
  • Immunizations
  • Flu shots
  • Eye exams
  • Dental exams

While preventative care works best when you pursue it early and continuously, it’s never too late to begin prioritizing your wellness. For compassionate care geared towards illness prevention, turn to Morgan Medical Center.