Tackle That Sickness: Three Indicators That You Need To See A Doctor

Though autumn brings gorgeous leaves, fun events, and great times with friends, it also ushers in cold and flu season. If you are feeling under the weather, it can be tricky trying to figure out if you need to see a doctor. You don't want to waste your time or the doctor's time, and it is frustrating having to pay a co-pay for a visit that wasn't necessary. Understand what signs and symptoms warrant an immediate visit or call to the doctor's office.

1. Difficulty Breathing

Though it is not abnormal to suffer from chest congestion, it is problematic if you cannot breathe. Wheezing and constant shortness of breath warrant a trip to the doctor's office. This is especially true if you are a member of an "at risk" population, such as those who suffer from asthma, those who have a compromised immune system, children, pregnant women, and the elderly.

2. A Fever That Won't Go Down

A fever is actually a positive symptom, as it indicates that your body is actively fighting off an infection. However, you may need to treat the fever with medicine for periods to make your child or yourself more comfortable. Understand what temperature calls for a trip or call to the doctor's office. 

In healthy adults, a doctor's visit is not warranted unless the fever lasts for more than three days or doesn't go down with medication. A temperature of 103 degrees Fahrenheit or higher should be monitored.

Children between the ages of 2 and 17 years old should be taken to the doctor when they have a fever if they seem abnormally tired or listless. Like adults, a trip to the doctor is in order if the fever doesn't go down after three days. 

For infants between the ages of 6 and 24 months, call the doctor if the fever lasts for more than a day or doesn't go down with medication.

When a temperature is higher than 102 degrees for babies between three and six months of age, even for a moment, it is time to call the doctor. Fevers under this point may be left untreated.

A baby under three months of age with a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher also warrants an immediate call to the doctor.

3. Persistent Vomiting

Proper hydration is key to helping the body heal itself. If you cannot keep down fluids, call the doctor. Dehydration can set in quickly, with dangerous consequences. Your doctor may have you come in to receive IV fluids or to monitor your symptoms.

Trying to figure out when an illness requires a trip or call to the doctor can be difficult. It is important to take a few moments to understand which symptoms call for a trip or phone call to the doctor's office. For more information, contact Broadway Medical Clinic, LLP or a similar location.