Being safe rather than sorry
Through virtually any aspect of the medical field, any doctor or specialist will echo the same sentiment: Actively participating in any sort of preliminary test of human health is incredibly beneficial, and can help detect any early stages of disease. For many, screening processes typically come when a patient begins to experience symptoms of a suspected illness. While this can be helpful in diagnosing conditions, in some cases, it's not always caught in time to where the condition is fully curable.
This scenario perfectly describes the importance of engaging in health screenings, either through check-ups at your next doctor appointment, or offered at local community events that specialize in providing preliminary services. All aspects of the human body should be considered, with the vascular system being no exception.
With that being said, there are numerous benefits to undergoing vascular screening, and there are three prominent methods of this service that are prominently used - all available at Vascular Health Clinics' facilities.
What are the benefits?
There are many benefits to undergoing a vascular screening, but the most valuable reason is that it allows you to be actively engaged in your health. With the ability to identify vascular health issues that may otherwise slip under the radar, vascular screening can be extremely valuable to your health, and acts as a key component in managing ailments that may arise.
Whether it's learning about the first signs of stroke, or detecting a condition well in advance, such as an aneurysm or peripheral vascular disease, vascular screening is able to detect these conditions early on, and prevent serious health complications.
You may be asking yourself right away - now that I'm aware of the major benefits of having a vascular screening done, am I in a demographic where this process is more important to undergo than others? If this is the case, you should know that there are a few different demographics that members of at-risk vascular conditions are recommended to take part in.
- 50 years or older
- History of diabetes
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Physical inactive
- Smoking or use of tobacco products
- History of stroke
- Coronary artery or heart disease
Additionally, if you find yourself experiencing symptoms, such as leg pain, difficulty walking, shortness of breath, or chest pain, you should immediately mention these to a doctor as soon as possible, who will keep them in mind when undergoing in a vascular screening.
Three Types of Vascular Screening
A carotid ultrasound measures blockages in the two main arteries to the brain, which help to supply oxygenated blood so the organ can work properly. The test is recommended for people with high blood pressure and, in certain cases, can be extremely valuable in diagnosing any potential risk for stroke.
In an aortic ultrasound helps to measure the size of the aorta - a major artery located in the stomach area, which acts as the largest blood vessel in the body. An aortic ultrasound can be helpful in diagnosing an abdominal aortic aneurysm. It is highly recommended that patients over the age of 65 or older, particularly those who have ever smoked, undergo an aortic ultrasound, due to an AAA's prominence in that age range.
Ankle Brachial Index
Lastly, an ankle brachial index helps to measure blood pressure using cuffs on the arms and above the ankles to diagnose peripheral arterial disease (PAD), a hardening of the arteries, also known as atherosclerosis, that can lead to various vascular-related conditions.