LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Doctors in Las Vegas say they’re seeing a lot of people skip their regular check-ups this year in fear of COVID-19.
“People are understandably afraid to leave their homes and go into their doctors' offices,” said Dr. Neil Gokal, Director of Education for Southwest Medical. “The unfortunate part is people are not getting the preventative care that they really need to keep themselves healthy.”
OTHER STORIES: HEALTH CHECK '21
Dr. Neil Gokal says if you’re looking great and feeling well, that’s exactly the time you should go in for a medical screening.
“Screening is when we look into a condition before it has a chance to show signs or symptoms. Those people who are feeling well are exactly the people that we want to go in for that screening because we want to make sure they keep feeling well and stay well,” Dr. Gokal said.
Dr. Gokal says keeping a close eye on things is even more important if you already suffer from a chronic condition.
“Things like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, heart or thyroid disease, all things that can really cause drastic problems all of which can be prevented with time and attention with your primary care provider,” Dr. Gokal said.
RELATED: Doctors encourage women not to avoid their OB-GYN
The healthier you are, the stronger your immune system, which is important during a pandemic. Doctors say you should visit your primary care physician at least once a year. Based on any risk factors or any screen tests that may come up abnormal, your doctor will provide guidance on when your next visit should be.
If you’re still unsure about an in-person visit, have a virtual chat or phone call with your doctor first.
“At least to connect and make sure that things are on a good page, and then maybe be reassured and have confidence in knowing that they can very safely come in to meet with their provider and have a thorough examination and review of their medical history,” Dr. Gokal said.