close
Advertisement

Self Exams You Aren't Doing (But Should Be)

Three DIY health checks to help you catch potential problems early.

Self Exams You Aren't Doing (But Should Be)
Thinkstock
Advertisement

Lymph node check

Take the pads of your fingers and gently roll them over your neck feeling for little nodules. Do the same in your armpits (press a little harder) and groin. You may feel no bumps, or small, soft nodules that are freely mobile and don’t hurt much when pressed. Both are OK. But visit a doctor if you notice any bumps that are:

  • over 1.5cm in diameter
  • fixed in place
  • hard or rubbery
  • underneath red or tender skin

Most inflamed lymph nodes are not serious. Occasionally, though, lymph nodes that are hard or swollen may indicate conditions like leukaemia or lymphoma.

Root canal predictor

If you’ve been having tooth pain, use this test to determine whether you might need a root canal. Hold some iced water in your mouth for a few seconds. Wait a bit: then, tap gently on each of your teeth with the underside of a spoon. Does the cold or pressure cause more sensitivity or pain in one specific tooth? If so, check with your dentist.

Macular degeneration detector

Print out an Amsler grid, which looks like a piece of graph paper with a dot in the centre. Hold the paper at the same distance you would for reading (wear glasses if you normally do), and focus on the dot while you cover one eye. Repeat with the other eye. You should see the entire grid with straight lines, right angles, and visible borders. If anything seems distorted, mark it on the page and take it to your eye doctor. Amsler grids can help flag the first signs of macular degeneration, a cause of vision loss in older adults.



Advertisement

More in Tips/Advice

13 things you need to know about food poisoning

13 things you need to know about food poisoning

Food poisoning is highly unpleasant – and can even be downright dangerous. Here’s how you can avoid falling ill.
20 easy ways to stay healthy – whatever your stage of life

20 easy ways to stay healthy – whatever your stage of life

Good health can be enhanced and illness prevented or treated in simple ways that anyone can manage. This mix of traditional wisdom and new scientific discoveries can help you stay fit and healthy for life.
Say goodbye to bad breath

How to say goodbye to bad breath for good

Natural dental hygiene tips for halitosis.
38 secrets hospitals won’t tell you

38 secrets hospitals won’t tell you

No-one looks forward to a health crisis, but our insights and tips will help you get better care, cut costs – and get out alive.
Best-kept secrets of surgeons around the world

Best-kept secrets of surgeons around the world

Surgeons have our lives in their hands, but most of us know more about the people who cut our hair than the doctors who cut our bodies. Here, insider tips to become a smarter, healthier patient.
Advertisement