Keeping yourself healthy can be a lifelong quest. Luckily, there are many medical professionals out there available to help you. You can begin with your primary physician, who you can regard as the ‘captain’ of your health team. Here are some other doctors on the healthcare team that many people need to see regularly:
Optometrists are the doctors to visit when you need an eye examination or eyeglasses. Their primary focus is to examine their clients’ eyes. After an eye examination, they can discuss what you can do to correct or eliminate your eye problems. If you need eyeglasses, the optometrist will determine the right prescription.
Many optometrists work in conjunction with a company that sells eyeglasses. Therefore, you may be able to buy glasses at an optometrist office
. During an examination by an optometrist, the doctor can detect diseases that are not directly related to your eyes – like diabetes. If your eye condition requires surgery or an eye specialist, the optometrist can give you a referral and explain why it’s needed.
You may wonder about the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist. Your optometrist will recommend an ophthalmologist if you need surgery on your eyes or if you have an eye condition that requires ongoing treatment by a doctor. An ophthalmologist may treat conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or strabismus (crossed eyes.)
When you have problems with your feet, podiatrists are the doctors to visit. Their examinations oversee the health of your ankles, feet, and toes. The podiatrist can treat infections and chronic conditions of the feet. A podiatrist may recommend wearing a special shoe or an insert (called an orthotic) to correct a foot condition.
The conditions podiatrists treat include corns, callouses, flat feet, and fractures of the bones of the feet. If your feet are dry, cracked, or injured, a podiatrist can safely help your feet heal. Podiatrists can perform surgery on your feet, toes, or ankles. Other podiatry services include measuring you for corrective shoes and helping make sure your special shoes are doing their jobs.
If you’re a diabetic, you need to see a podiatrist regularly. It’s recommended that a podiatrist cut the toenails of a diabetic because, with diabetes, even a tiny cut on the toes or feet is at an increased risk for infection. Diabetes results in poor foot circulation, so even a minor foot infection could escalate and result in amputation.
An ENT doctor is an ear nose and throat specialist. These doctors will care for diseases and conditions of these body parts. Because these body parts are connected to each other, a problem with one of them can often spread to the other parts. An issue with any of these body parts can quickly become a serious medical challenge.
Another name for these doctors is otolaryngologists. They are the doctors to visit if you have any problems when you have any problem with those areas – from sinusitis to head and neck cancer. Your primary doctor may refer you to an ENT if you have chronic tonsillitis, frequent ear infections, difficulty swallowing, or hearing loss. If your primary doctor believes you have sleep apnea, they may want an ENT to check you for any anatomical reasons that are causing it.
These doctors can also perform surgery on any part of your head (except the brain.) ENT surgery may be done to correct a bone deformity or to remove a cancerous tumor. Although an ENT may be able to tell you the reason for your hearing problem, they may refer you to an audiologist for a hearing test. The audiologist will help you select the correct hearing aid if you need one.
A general dentist takes care of routine problems related to the teeth, mouth, and gums. They can examine and treat clients of all ages, although parents may prefer their children to visit pediatric dentist offices. Children are often restless and fearful when visiting a dentist, and pediatric dentists are trained to care for them appropriately. Pediatric dentists are also well-acquainted with the stages of dental development, so they can let you know if your children’s teeth aren’t developing correctly.
General dentists are the doctors to see for dental exams and cleanings, plus fillings. The annual dental exam will be able to tell if you have issues that require further intervention. Dental cleanings – typically done by dental hygienists – are necessary because it’s tough for people to remove all the plaque buildup on their teeth by human methods. General dentists can also recognize whether you need to see an orthodontist for tooth realignment.
For most family members, a general dentist is considered the family dentist. Delta Dental says you should see your dentist at least once a year. However, if you are a diabetic or have chronic dental problems, you should see your dentist a minimum of twice a year. Dental care in both these situations takes additional attention, so the extra visits are essential.
If you want to improve the appearance of your teeth, cosmetic dentists are the doctors to visit. Cosmetic dentistry doesn’t involve straightening the teeth, since orthodontists do that activity. Cosmetic dentistry only changes the surface appearance of the teeth. If you’re self-conscious about the way your smile looks, because of chipped teeth, stained teeth, or a small gap between your teeth, a cosmetic dentist may be able to help you.
One of the most frequently requested services by a cosmetic dentist is dental teeth whitening services. Your dentist may give you a tooth whitening kit to take home and do yourself. If you perform the procedure at home, the teeth whitening will take a few weeks. A tooth whitening procedure in the dentist’s office typically takes an hour.
Another cosmetic dental procedure is called dental bonding. This procedure will apply a tooth-colored resin to the front of your teeth to cover chips, cracks, and discolored teeth. Bonding usually lasts five to seven years. A similar process, called dental veneers, places a porcelain cover on your teeth to change their appearance.
A periodontist is a dental specialist who takes care of your gums and the bones of your jaw and mouth. Infection of the gums (called gingivitis) can become a severe problem. In addition to affecting your ability to chew, gingivitis can spread and cause heart problems. Although your general dentist can help you clean most of the plaque from between your teeth, you may need a more extreme dental cleaning if you have a great deal of plaque.
These deeper cleanings are called scaling and root planing. Periodontists can also do gum surgery – like a gum graft. This surgery will remove tissue from the roof of your mouth and apply medicine to the gums to provide an even gum line – to prevent tooth decay. If your dentist says you need dental implants, look for a periodontist who does affordable dental implants.
The periodontist performs implant dentistry, which implants a metal post into the jaw. The outside surface of the implant is shaped like a screw, so the crown that covers it will securely fit onto the implant. Once the implant is inserted, it is covered with a dental crown. The crown will look like a natural tooth and improve your smile and your ability to chew.
Peptide Therapy Specialist
Peptide therapy is a medical service that has been gaining popularity. This type of therapy uses peptides, which are small amino acids (parts of proteins), to help your overall health. Peptides are natural compounds that are made from chains of amino acids. This treatment works because proteins are the basis for communication between many body parts.
The doctors administering these peptide therapy services understand the body’s response to various peptides. They will examine you and select the appropriate peptide to correct your problems. Some peptides stimulate the growth factor and can help people increase their height. Other types of peptide therapy can improve your immune function.
People with wounds that have been resistant to wound care may find that peptide therapy specialists are the doctors to visit. Other conditions that benefit from peptide therapy include people with chronic fatigue syndrome, as peptides can target energy metabolism. There has also been success in using peptide therapy to assist people with weight management, as peptides are thought to change fat metabolism and regulate your appetite.
If you are a female, age 13 and over, and are sexually active, you should visit a gynecologist at least once a year. A gynecologist (sometimes nicknamed “GYN”) is a doctor who specializes in conditions and diseases of the female reproductive organs. At an annual GYN visit, the doctor will examine inside your vagina and take a sample of your vaginal tissue. That examination is called a “pap smear,” and it is meant to see if you have cervical cancer.
If you have painful menstruation, gynecologists are the doctors to visit. Their examination can discover the anatomical reasons for painful periods. They may be able to give you medication or perform a procedure to reduce the amount of pain you have during your period.
Some gynecologists will also have experience in obstetrics – the field of medicine dealing with pregnancy. These doctors are also able to perform surgery on the female reproductive system. The OB/GYN (as the doctors specializing in both types of care) will care for you during the birth process and the immediate period after birth. Pregnant women should typically visit those doctors once a month during the early stages of pregnancy and more often as the delivery date gets closer.
A pediatrician is a doctor who specializes in caring for children from infancy through their teens. Some families take their children to their family doctors. Other families feel that doctors trained in the care of children are the doctors who visit their children. These doctors have special training in children’s diseases and in special ways to approach children when they are not feeling well.
Pediatricians are trained to recognize and diagnose developmental problems in children. They can advise parents on promoting a healthy lifestyle for their children. If your child has a chronic disease or medical challenge, it may be best to consult a pediatrician even if they are also seeing a family doctor. These doctors may help you find ways to minimize the effects of your child’s condition.
If your child must go to the hospital, a pediatrician will likely see them. This is especially true if your child’s condition is critical, and they are placed in the ICU. Because of the unique emotional challenges of a sick child, there are often child psychologists to assist the child through the emotional challenges of their condition. The hospital may also employ a ‘play therapist’ to help the child do healthy recreational activities during hospitalization.
Psychiatrists are the doctors to visit if you have mental health problems. According to the CDC, almost 7% of adults in the U.S. visit psychiatrists. In the past, mental health problems carried a great deal of stigma, but awareness of the commonality of mental health problems has increased. When you go to a psychiatrist, they will ask you questions about your mental health problems and how those problems affect you physically.
A psychiatrist will make a psychiatric diagnosis and develop a treatment plan. These doctors can prescribe medication to help the client. They may also prescribe treatments like electroshock therapy, ketamine therapy, or TMS. Electroshock therapy will administer a small electric current to your brain. According to Your Health in Mind, electroshock therapy relieves or reduces depression in 70% of clients who undergo this type of therapy.
TMS (Transient Magnetic Stimulation) uses a magnetic coil to stimulate your brain. Users report that it reduces depression. If you need ongoing therapy to work through your mental health problems, the psychiatrist may refer you to a psychologist. Psychologists help you find ways to overcome your mental health challenges.
Your medical team may include other types of doctors. You may visit a neurologist (if you have seizures or other neurological problems), a pulmonologist (lung problems), a cardiologist (heart problems), or a dermatologist. Keep your doctor appointments and make new appointments when needed – your health is worth it.