3 Times You Need to Decide Whether To See A Doctor

Sometimes it can be hard to decide whether a medical issue is serious enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room or clinic, or whether it’s best to just stay home and rest. Read on for three times it can be hard to decide what to do, and advice for deciding whether or not to visit a doctor.

Difficulty Breathing

The average adult breaths around 14 times a minute when at rest, and faster–often much faster–after exertion or exercise. When going to an urgent care location it’s important to be able to tell the doctors whether the difficulty breathing came on suddenly or gradually, and while at rest or after exertion. It’s also helpful to notice if the difficulty breathing came after doing or experiencing something new. This sort of information will help medical professionals distinguish among the different possible causes of difficulty breathing.

Difficulty breathing can be due to anything from asthma to anxiety, high altitude to obesity, pneumonia to cancer, carbon monoxide poisoning to rib fractures. Because there are so many possible causes, it’s also important to note any other symptoms besides the difficulty breathing. Some symptoms that can appear in conjunction with difficulty breathing are wheezing and coughing, chest pain, neck pain, fatigue, dizziness, and even fainting.

Back Pain

Many people have bouts of pain in their lower back, and in most cases it is not due to a serious problem. When back pain occurs after a car crash, a fall, or an injury, it’s important to seek out immediate treatment by medical professionals. The same is true if back pain presents with a fever, or if it seems to be occurring with bladder control or bowel control problems. If none of these things are an issue, and if the pain is not acute and unbearable, back pain often gets better on its own in a few weeks. For serious discomfort, a day or two in bed may help; but staying in bed longer than this can often do more harm than good. If there has been no change at all with a week of home treatment, it’s probably time to see a doctor.


Headaches are common, and because they are so common–often harmlessly accompanying the common cold or arriving after a long, tense day–it can be hard to decide when a headache warrants a visit to your family urgent care center or medical clinic. In fact, most headaches do not indicate a serious underlying problem and aren’t something to worry about. There are times, though, when it’s important to see a doctor.

You should seek medical care for a headache if you have pain that never goes away, or are suddenly experiencing headaches when you did not before. Other red flags include sudden thunderclap headaches or a headache brought on by coughing or straining. If you regularly have headaches but experience a sudden change in the pattern, this could be a cause for concern. It’s also important to see a doctor if your headaches come with any neurological symptoms, or with fever and chills, or weight loss.

If you take the time in advance to learn the warning signs that mean you should see a doctor, it will be easier to make the decision if a problem arises. Make sure that you know where your local emergency clinic is located, too, so that when problems arise you’re ready to deal with them.

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