People find the word free too inviting to pass up. Maybe that’s one reason why a rising health conscious society finds Health Fairs so appealing. Health Fairs are annual, but they vary in the time, day, and month for each town (city) they are held in. If you miss the Health Fair in your town you can attend one if you are willing to travel. Before travelling consider what the trip will cost. A check up at the doctor could be cheaper this time around. Some screenings at the fairs come with a price tag, a small fee so low it could never compare to what a doctor would charge. This kind of screening includes tests that have to be sent to a lab to be checked out, an example would be colon tests.
You don’t have to do any health screening tests to find this event a learning experience. The various booths set up offer pamphlets with information on diseases of all sorts. The information can be about the harmful effects of smoking, what cancers look like, and what each sexually transmitted disease will do. A person or two is available at each booth to answer any questions you might have.
Not everyone at the fairs is a qualified expert. You may be receiving a non-licensed opinion from someone working in an establishment that sells medical equipment or from a hospital candy striper possibly one who works in the hospital gift shop. It may come from a volunteer helping to work the booth with no prior knowledge of the disease on the pamphlet before them.
Another potential problem is that the people actually performing the tests may not know what they are doing. I went to a Health Fair a couple of years ago and wanted my eyes checked. The guy running the machine to check eyes used to be my dentist up until he retired. I was told I needed glasses. My former dentist rooted through the glasses marked for my eye problem and had me try on several pairs none of which made a difference in my vision. He told me my eyesight probably wasn’t bad enough to need eyeglasses yet. Needless to say I was upset. If my eyesight is going bad how extreme is the problem? Does someone who obviously isn’t an eye doctor trained professionally in this field know what they are talking about? I had asked where each eye stood visually. Did one eye have 20/20 vision while the other had 20/40? What was the difference? I was told “I don’t know. The machine doesn’t work that way. It just tells what type of eyeglasses you need.” There were also several booths that checked blood pressure and every reading was different. The attendants at those booths said, “Blood pressure can go up and down depending upon excitability.” I guess mine must have risen because of the eyeglass thing.
The point of concern at any Health Fair is that tests given aren’t always 100 percent accurate. You may wound up being over-concerned at a test result and go to you’re doctor needlessly, spending time and money you otherwise wouldn’t have spent.
Some doctors go to Heath Fairs to drum up business. I’ve witnessed an ear specialist performing hearing tests, the kind where you hear high or low beeps; in noisy crowded open spaces. After the test, the ear specialist told the recipient they failed and needed to schedule an appointment at their office. The test should have been executed in a secluded quiet room away from any distractions. This was clearly a ruse or it could have been that the specialist was too inexperienced to know better. Either way, you don’t have to set up an appointment at their office just because they want you to.
Overall Health Fairs can give you insight about your body. Pamphlets, awareness and participation in free screenings can put you on the right track. Be prepared for feedback on your screenings. Take into consideration where healthy and unhealthy ranges fall. What range are you in? Is it extremely high or low so much that you won’t be able to get within normal ranges without seeing your doctor? If you have high cholesterol could you lower it own your own by changing your diet? Could you reduce you’re blood pressure by lowering you’re salt intake? Expect to see screenings for blood glucose, cholesterol, anemia, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, fat to weight ratio, blood oxygen, blood pressure, eye tests, hearing tests, and colon tests.