When Should You Consult a Doctor?

Doc examining a patient
(Last Updated On: October 30, 2019)

When do you go visit the doctor? When does the condition qualify for that visit and the need for ‘medical attention’? Through this post we aim to shed light on the nuances of when you actually need to visit the doctor.

Getting a headache, stomach ache, dizziness or feeling nauseous is normal, but you always need to know when things are getting out of hand and seek timely medical help so that the worst can be averted. After all the Physician or doctor is the first point of contact for medical assistance and should definitely be consulted in case you notice something out of the ordinary. If you feel a piercing pain or any discomfort that shouldn’t be happening, usually it’s time to pay the doc a visit. This could include a piercing or severe chest pain ( which may just be a case of gas, but could very well be a symptom of a heart attack too –  a chance you shouldn’t take) or a cough that persists beyond a week or ten days then you need to show the doctor and get the issue resolved.

You can broadly answer the question ‘When to consult a doctor’ in 3 simple parts –

  1. Routine Visits
  2. Visits when a problem arises/persists
  3. Emergency visits

Routine Visits – These can be monthly or annual visits to your family doctor or physician to make sure that everything is functioning smoothly. You can obtain a schedule of what type of care is required and how often visits are needed from your 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 would need to visit the doctor more frequently as compared to a normal person.

Visits for a Problem – When something out of the ordinary occurs or when there’s an issue that is hampering with your daily life such as a prolonged cough, people aren’t too sure whether or not to visit the doctor. The reason for this is that many symptoms and problems can be handled at home. For example, most routine cough and colds do not require a doctor’s attention. Many small cuts and wounds can be tackled by first cleaning them with mild soap and water and then applying an antibiotic ointment such as Dettol or Savlon and a protective covering such as a gauge and bandage. Patients with particular disorders should see a doctor sooner rather than later when new symptoms develop. For example, if people with an acute lung disorder (such as asthma) begin to have difficulty breathing or experience high fever or breathlessness, it’s time to sound the alarm bells and pay the doctor a visit.

When unsure about the need to see a doctor or other practitioner, people can sometimes call their family doctor for initial guidance.

Emergency Visits – This one is pretty self-explanatory, in case the situation gets out of hand or there is an emergency such as a deep cut that may require stitches, or a case when you ingest something that has an allergic reaction or a freak accident such as a snake bite or even a road accident you need to visit the Emergency room to get things back in order and ensure that you’re healthy.

As much as we’d like to believe that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, sometimes its imperative to visit the doctor to ensure your good health and well being. It would be even better if a doctor can come home and treat you, saving you time and energy. It is here that a trusted home health care service provider could be of immense help. Call 1800-121-2323 to know more.

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Dr Rahul has Masters in Maxillofacial Surgery with an overall experience of six years. Since the last 2 years, he is working in the Medical operations team of Portea. An Alumni of the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health and Science, he has previously worked with Nationwide- The Family Doctors while as their Chief Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon and Implantologist. He has a special interest in Facial Trauma Surgery, Dental Implantology and Facial aesthetic surgery. It is not only medicine that fascinates Rahul. He is a die-hard sports enthusiast with a strong passion for Football, Basketball, and Cricket and occasionally strums the guitar, too.


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