HEALTHY HUSKY: When to go see the doctor
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 00:10
Whether it’s a case of the sniffles, or a nagging pain that refuses to subside, one of the most common problems individuals encounter with their health is deciding whether or not they should see a doctor.
To make matters worse, they often choose wrong. Often, many will downplay their problem until it manifests into a trip to the emergency room. That being said, here are some tips on how you decide whether its time for you to make a trip to your doctor.
First and foremost, when you are in doubt get it checked. Just because that brown spot could be a mole doesn’t make it one. You know your body better than anyone else and when something doesn’t feel right or look right you should be able to have the peace of mind from a thorough evaluation.
In the realm of some of the common orthopedic injuries you may encounter, like sprained ankles or pulled muscles, a good rule of thumb to follow is if it does not get better in a week it should probably be examined.
Nagging sprains and strains that don’t get better are usually a sign that the damage is more than what can be handled with a little rest. Any numbness, tingling or burning pain is a red flag to get something examined immediately.
The tables are often turned when you catch a cold. While the signs on WebMD may say that it could be the bubonic plague, chances are its not. As long as your symptoms are not widely unusual, it is not necessary to see a doctor for a common cold. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical relief you may be looking for in the form of antibiotics does not even work with colds, as they are viral in nature. The caveat to this is that when your symptoms extend beyond 10 days, the chances that your condition is viral drops and a doctor may be able to provide you help.
A key aspect of any visit to your doctor, or your health status in general is knowing your insurance. Whether you have a HMO or PPO really does matter, because the last thing you want is to arrive at a doctors office and find out that you’re either not covered or have to pay additional costs because the physician is outside of your network. Also, if your plan allows it, it may be wise to go directly to specialists when you know the nature of your problem.
Finally, the most important time to visit your doctor is an annual physical. The yearly check-in as you age is a vital tool to ensure you are on track with your health goals. A good doctor can become your ally throughout your life span and one you should utilize.
The unfortunate nature of individuals in their twenties is that they often consider themselves young and healthy and ignore their healthcare needs for prolonged periods of time. However, the health implications down the line can compound themselves as you enter your thirties and forties.
By trusting your instincts and establishing good relationships, your doctor can help ensure your long-term health while treating your short-term problems.