When it comes to our health, it’s all too easy to ignore the small warning signs that our body gives us. We’re all busy, have a million things to do, and are masters at putting up with small niggles. But actually it’s these tiny early warning signs that we should be taking note of to make sure problems are spotted and treated early. So, what are the key things that you should be looking out for?
Loss of hearing
The charity, Action on Hearing Loss, predicts that by 2031 there will be 14.5 million people suffering from hearing loss in the UK. At the moment hearing loss is affecting 10 million people, or one in every six. Approximately 2 million of us are currently seeking help for hearing problems, and many companies like Hiddenhearing.co.uk are picking up on this consumer need. But, what about the at least four million people living with hearing problems that aren’t yet being treated? Hearing loss can be sudden but is most often gradual. The early warning signs to be aware of include needing to turn the volume up loud on the television or radio, struggling with telephone conversations, not being able to hear when there is light background noise like restaurant music playing, and talking more loudly yourself. You might find yourself getting very tired by the end of the day because you have to concentrate so hard to hear what is being said.
If your gums start to bleed, it may be a small warning sign that your oral health needs attention. You could possibly have gum disease, which a dentist can help you manage. You should also look out for pain in your gums, teeth or jaw; loose teeth; sores, rough irregular patches or bumps in your mouth; and persistent bad breath.
Interestingly, almost 9 out of every 10 diseases cause some symptoms in your mouth. This makes your dentist a vital part of spotting wider health conditions that you might be unaware of.
When you get your eyes checked by an optician they aren’t only looking for changes in your vision. This is also a good way to spot eye disease like glaucoma early on. Key early warning signs to be aware of include feeling that indoor lights are too dim; sudden eye pain that recurs; a blurred or distorted view; spots or blotches in your vision; a narrowing field of sight or loss of peripheral vision; shadowing; clouding; exaggerated star bursts around bright lights; as well as double vision or complete loss of sight for any length of time.
Early warning for more serious disease
You should be regularly checking for lumps and bumps, particularly under armpits and in breasts for women, and in the testicles for men. Any new lumps, as well as changes in moles, should be looked at by a GP, although the NHS is keen to stress that in the majority of cases it won’t be cancer. Other warning signs of more serious disease include pain when going to the toilet and blood in urine or feces.
If you spot any of these things it’s best to face them head on and get an expert opinion so that if the worst does happen, you can get ahead with early treatment.
This article was produced by Lara Anderson, an experienced Australian freelance writer who has featured in a number of high profile publications. Follow her here: @LaraCAnderson