When Should Adults Wait Out Their Medical Symptoms (And When To Go To The Doctor)
Many people wait out their medical symptoms and postpone going to the doctor. They often avoid seeking medical care even if they suspect that they need to get medical attention. Unfortunately, this decision results in late diagnosis and reduced survival.
Nonetheless, not all medical symptoms require an urgent trip to the ER. Use of ER services for non-urgent health conditions has disadvantages too, such as excessive healthcare spending, unnecessary testing, and a weaker primary care provider relationship.
What do you do when you're not sure whether to classify your symptoms as urgent?
Non-urgent symptoms are the ones that you can manage on your own. These symptoms tend to be mild and last for a short period of time. Examples of non-urgent symptoms for adults are common illnesses, cough, colds, sore throat, low-grade fevers, flu and other viral infections. A visit to a doctor is generally not required, and self-care and over-the-counter medicines could suffice. If you experience non-urgent symptoms, you can wait out and visit the doctor if these symptoms persist for a prolonged period of time.
Urgent symptoms require medical attention, as they tend to be more intense and last longer. Examples of urgent symptoms include coughing with fever, recurring high fever, and episodes of serious asthma. Minor injuries such as back pain, minor cuts and burns, and sprains also count as urgent symptoms if they're in urgent areas. For example, burns in the throat could easily restrict your airway and become fatal.
Symptoms that have to deal with major systems are also urgent. If you're having unusual heart palpitations, seek out help from a cardiologist. If you suddenly can't breathe, a trip to urgent care is needed.
You don't have to make an urgent trip to the ER when experiencing urgent symptoms. Adult health clinics usually have health nurses who give health guidance for your specific condition and refer you to a specialist if needed.
Emergency symptoms require immediate medical attention as they are life-threatening or may result to permanent or long-term damage. These symptoms worsen significantly within the shortest time. Some of these emergency symptoms include sudden chest or abdominal pain, sudden dizziness and change in vision, difficulty in breathing and choking, severe vomiting and diarrhea, severe bleeding, and major injuries. Don't wait when you or anyone experience these symptoms and call 911 or go to the ER immediately.
In sum, it is important to classify your symptoms wisely to avoid having unnecessary and costly treatment or suffering from emergency symptoms for long. Contact a medical center, like Temecula Valley Cardiology, for more help.