Blood Tests (Phlebotomy)
Blood tests can be used in a number of ways, such as assessing your general state of health, helping to diagnose a condition, assessing the health of certain organs or screening for some genetic conditions.
Most blood tests only take a few minutes to complete and the healthcare professional who arranges your blood test will tell you whether there are any specific instructions you need to follow before your test such as avoid eating or drinking anything, apart from water (fasting) for up to 12 hours or to stop taking a certain medication.
It's important to follow the instructions you're given, as it may affect the result of the test.
Hearing Tests (Audiometry)
Hearing tests are used to assess the ability to hear different sounds and to determine if there are any problems. Hearing tests are carried out for two main reasons:
- as a routine part of a baby’s or young child’s developmental checks
- to check the hearing of someone who is experiencing hearing problems or has hearing loss.
It's important hearing tests are carried out so the right support and treatment can be provided. If you're worried about any hearing problems, you can ask your GP for a hearing test.
Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring
A blood pressure test is a simple way of checking if your blood pressure is too high or too low. Blood pressure is the term used to describe the strength with which your blood pushes on the sides of your arteries as it's pumped around your body. High blood pressure (hypertension) can put a strain on your arteries and organs, which can increase your risk of developing serious problems such as heart attacks and strokes. Low blood pressure (hypotension) isn't usually as serious, although it can cause dizziness and fainting in some people.
A blood pressure test is the only way to find out if your blood pressure is too high or too low, because most people won't have any obvious symptoms. Having a test is easy and could save your life, you can ask for a blood pressure test if you're worried about your blood pressure at any point.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple test that can be used to check your heart's rhythm and electrical activity. Sensors attached to the skin are used to detect the electrical signals produced by your heart each time it beats, these signals are recorded by a machine and are looked at by a doctor to see if they're unusual.
ECGs are often used alongside other tests to help diagnose and monitor conditions affecting the heart such as arrhythmias, coronary heart disease, heart attacks and cardiomyopathy. They can be used to investigate symptoms of a possible heart problem, such as chest pain, suddenly noticeable heartbeats (palpitations), dizziness and shortness of breath.
Cervical Screening Test
A cervical screening test (previously known as a smear test) is a method of detecting abnormal cells on the cervix. The cervix is the entrance to the womb from the vagina. Detecting and removing abnormal cervical cells can prevent cervical cancer. For more information, please review the pages on NHS choices.
Earwax is produced inside your ears to keep them clean and free of germs, it usually passes out of the ears harmlessly, but sometimes too much can build up and block the ears. Ear syringing is the act of removing earwax, dead skin or a foreign body by way of gentle flushing with warm water via a narrow nozzle attached to a custom-designed syringing device. A build-up of earwax in your ear can cause:
However these problems will usually improve once the excess earwax has been removed.
Wart Removal (Cryotherapy)
If pharmacy treatments haven't helped, your GP may recommend Cyrotherapy. The term cryotherapy literally means treatment using low temperature, and refers to the removal of skin lesions (such as warts) by freezing with liquid ntirogen.
Cryotherapy is usually well-tolerated with the skin afterwards appearing entirely normal without any sign of the original skin lesion. However, cryotherapy may sometimes lead to blistering, infection, leaving a white mark or a scarm particularly when freezing has been deep or prolonged.