When most people think of “health” they think of things like whether or not they have the sniffles, how many vegetables they eat in a day, and how far they can run before feeling completely and helplessly out of breath.

While all of those things are important marker of overall health, however, it’s also worth getting some tests done periodically even if you don’t seem to be coming down with a nasty fever or turning a strange colour.

Here are some essential health checks you may have been overlooking, but really shouldn’t.

Get your senses checked

Getting your hearing and eyesight checked from time to time is important, even if you’ve never previously needed glasses or had a experienced any hearing trouble.

Often, damage to the senses occurs gradually over time, and we become accustomed to our slightly reduced sensory capabilities every step of the way. This means that over the course of a few years, our eyesight or hearing can actually suffering quite dramatically before we notice the effects.

If you’ve noticed specific pain or irritation in your eyes, checking if there are any ophthalmologists nearby and making an appointment is an essential step to take. Even if you don’t see any immediate cause for concern, however, getting down to your local optician from time to time is important.

If your senses have deteriorated, correcting them can seem to give you a whole new lease on life, as the world comes back into vivid focus.

Lung function test

Breath is essential to life, and it’s intimately tied to quality of life as well. Throughout your life, you’re liable to come across various pollutants and stressors which can harm your lung function over time. It’s even possible to live with chronic lung disease or inflammation in the body without knowing it, and for this to cause cumulative damage to the lungs over time.

Especially if you find that your breathing has become more laboured or you’ve suffered a lot of chest infections recently, but even if everything seems to be essentially fine, it’s important to have your lung health analysed from time to time.

Sex hormone test

Issues relating to sex hormones are often overlooked, especially in men, but these issues nonetheless have the potential to completely ruin a person’s health if they aren’t investigated and resolved promptly.

For women, hormonal imbalance can signal the start of menopause, and hormonal therapy may be needed in turn in order to deal with some of the side effects. Elevated estrogen levels in women can lead to an increased risk of various types of cancer.

For men, low testosterone can lead to depression, impotence, insomnia, lack of ambition and more. Even if the basic levels of testosterone in the body register within the normal range, it’s still possible for men to suffer the symptoms of low testosterone if other hormones are inhibiting the amount of testosterone that’s available for the body to use — a.k.a. “free testosterone”.

If you feel that your mood has dropped off recently, or even if you’re just curious, it’s worth getting your sex hormones tested either via your GP or a private testing service.