Too many people go running into their doctor’s office with every little ailment, cough, or cold. Unfortunately, this usually proves to be a very costly thing but serves a minimal purpose. Most doctors will not readily dispense antibiotics anymore, and as a result, many trips to the doctor’s office prove less than fruitful. So how can one determine when it is time to run off to the doctor and when to stay home? Well, the following guidelines can help you to determine if your problem needs medical attention or just a few days of wait and see.
Are your symptoms interfering significantly with everyday life? Well, this may or may not be a determining factor because a runny nose can interfere with your life and yet need not be a medical emergency. Most illnesses do tend to interfere somewhat with our daily lives but usually require medical assistance. Await and see attitude is healthy with these types of symptoms. Are your symptoms malingering or getting increasingly worse? This is a good sign that you probably need to head in to see your physician as soon as possible. Even something as simple as a rash should not be getting worse or hang around for too long. So if you are treating the symptoms and they are progressing anyway, it is probably worth a trip to the doctor to find out what is really going on.
Are you in a health crisis? Obviously, if you are bleeding from any orifice or have external bleeding that will not stop, it is time to head straight to the local emergency room. If you are experiencing an exceptionally high fever that you are unable to bring down at home using alcohol or ice baths, it is time to head to the doctor, and of course, anyone with difficulty breathing should be seen by a doctor immediately.
Broken and stitches don’t always mean an automatic trip to the ER. Clinicians cannot set a broken nose until the swelling goes down, and an ER visit will not speed that up. However, in any situation where you can’t stop bleeding or swelling, seek the ER asap, as these could be life-threatening. Cuts, well, these can be tricky as well. A nurse can treat most cuts and wounds outside of an ER as long as they are routinely cleaned and cared for. Should you be concerned with scarring, you might want to seek the opinion of a professional. Doctors can set broken bones while they are swelled and x-rayed asap to assess the internal damage.
Most colds, sore throats, and stomach viruses go away on their own within just a few short days and don’t need to be attended by a physician. Of course, when in doubt, there is nothing wrong with having your doctor take a look at your problem. However, most of the time, the wait and see attitude will go a long way in healing what ails you without a tremendous doctor’s bill in the end.
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