With so many preventive care options and only so much time to schedule appointments, you may be thinking about how much you actually need each of the recommended preventive care appointments. The ones on this list are some of the most important.
You may have come back from your last few annual check-ups with little new information. But that just means that you're healthy at this point. If you do become ill, those check-ups could potentially save your life. When your doctor takes various vitals and does a physical inspection, or asks about health problems you've had recently and tries to find the patterns among them, they are doing some of the most important work in preventive care. Their leads may tip you off to a health condition that you can start to keep in check before it becomes serious.
Eye exams are important for groups of people who have a family history of eye disease. Eye disease is progressive, and you want to catch it right when it starts to develop. A yearly or bi-yearly eye exam should be sufficient to catch most developing problems if you're not experiencing symptoms. And your prescriptions change over time, so this is a good opportunity to be retested for eye problems.
Similarly, hearing problems only get worse when not treated. You might start turning up the volume on things, which worsens the damage to ears. Get a hearing test if you haven't had one in the past 3 years. For more information, contact establishments like Desert Knolls Hearing Center.
Cavities start off small, where you won't see them from the surface of the tooth. A dentist can do x-rays and see these budding cavities, filling them before they become more of a problem. If you're relying only on your own vision, you're waiting until a cavity is moderate to severe before getting treatment. Note that cavities can spread, too; and infection that makes its way through one tooth to the adjacent one is fairly common.
Sexually transmitted diseases are on this list because their prevention affects not only you, but the general population. STDs spread between partners, often silently, and then the spread becomes multiplied and harder to control. And not all sexually transmitted diseases have symptoms.
So, now you know about some of the critical preventive services to take advantage of. How often should you go? Every year is ideal. But biyearly is certainly better than nothing.