How to determine when to visit your doctor

This article is inspired by a number of colleagues, friends, associates and loved ones who are either dead or sick. We wish those sick a quick recovery, while we hold the memories of the departed – dearly.

In a very short note, it is possible that a person seen in some seconds (ago) could be pronounced dead – some minutes after. While natural death occurs, majority of such death occur as a result of the inability of people (who are sick) to attack their sicknesses by visiting their doctors.

Surprisingly, some deaths occur due to ‘people attending to their sicknesses’ themselves (which is referred to as ‘ self medication’).

As a result, we have taken it upon ourselves to communicate `how to determine when to visit the doctor’ to all our readers.

According to Michael R. Wasserman, in When to See a Doctor, consistent visitation in any time of health challenge is required. Wasserman also listed some periods in which one must determine to see his/her doctor, for proper treatment.

Now, you should relax and read through

1.  Routine visits:

Wasserman suggested that everyone should routinely see his/her

doctor, dentist, or eye doctor for preventive care.

Women should routinely see their primary care doctor or gynecologist for gynecologic examinations. People can obtain a schedule of what type of care is required and how often visits are needed from their primary care doctor. Usually, infants and older people need more frequent preventive visits, but frequency also depends on a person’s health conditions. For

example, a person with diabetes or a heart disorder (or risk factors for them) may need to have checkups, frequently.

2.  Visits for a problem:

When symptoms or other medical problems develop between preventive visits, Wasserman said that, people might be unsure whether they needed to see a doctor. Many symptoms and problems can be handled at home. For example, most routine colds do not require a doctor’s attention. Many small cuts and abrasions can be handled by first cleaning them with mild soap and water, then applying an antibiotic ointment and a protective covering.

Wasserman affirmed that people with certain disorders should see a doctor sooner than later when new symptoms develop. For example, if people with a chronic lung disorder (such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) begin to have difficulty breathing or if people with a weakened immune system get a fever, they should see a doctor promptly. The immune system may be weakened by diabetes, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, use of chemotherapy drugs, or other conditions.

However, when a person is unsure about the need to see a doctor or other practitioner, such person should call his/her primary care doctor for guidance. Some doctors can be contacted by e-mail for nonemergency questions.

Others prefer to be contacted by telephone. Doctors cannot give set guidelines for when to see a doctor and when it is unnecessary because symptoms with the same cause vary too much and symptoms with different causes overlap too much.

However, some problems clearly require a call to a health care practitioner.

3.  Visits to the emergency department:

In general, true emergencies should be handled by calling 911 or the local emergency service to provide ambulance service to the nearest hospital, Wasserman said. Saying that, deciding what qualified as an emergency is sometimes difficult because symptoms vary greatly.

According to Wasserman, learning as much as possible about symptoms of life-threatening disorders (such as heart attack and stroke) in advance is useful, and good judgment is often required. If the problem seemed possibly life threatening, the emergency department is the place to go.

To prevent emergency occurences that could lead to fatality, Wasserman suggested that the following clearly require a visit to the emergency department:

  • Signs of a heart attack.
  • Signs of a stroke.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Heavy bleeding.
  • Burns that are open, char, or blister the skin; that result from inhalation; that cover a large area; or that are on the hands, face, feet, or genitals.
  • Severe injury (as in a motor vehicle accident).
  • Poisoning that causes symptoms (if symptoms are minor or do not develop, the poison control center can be called first.
  • A severe allergic reaction.
  • Shock.
  • Sudden, severe pain anywhere.
  • Vomiting blood or coughing up a relatively large amount of blood (more than a few streaks in sputum).
  • Sudden, severe worsening of a serious chronic disorder, such as asthma or diabetes.

Tangible advice given

Going to the emergency department for less serious problems may be appropriate when the primary care doctor is unavailable, perhaps, during weekends or the night. In some health insurance plans, calling the primary care doctor first is required in order to be reimbursed for a visit to the emergency department, unless symptoms suggest a life-threatening disorder. People should know the requirements of their insurance plan before an emergency develops.

Last but not the least

You will do yourself good (beyond the costs that you think could be involved) when you visit your doctor rather than resorting to self medication that can jeopardise your health (completely).

After all, this life can only be lived once – much reason why you must take care of your health like you look after your business or employment projects.

We love you (in our organisation) and we cannot afford to lose you. No, not until you have fulfilled the number of your days.


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