stethoscopeFlu season is just beginning, which means more and more people will find themselves sick with the flu in the coming months. If you have flu-like symptoms, it’s always a good idea to seek the help of a medical professional. But instead of seeking medical attention, many people try to self-diagnose, which can be a dangerous thing to do. If you take the wrong medicine or simply try to wait it out, you could end up sicker than you were before. Instead, you should head to an AFC Urgent Care, where board-certified physicians can help you get better. Here’s why it’s so important to get medical advice at the first sign of an illness.  

You could easily misdiagnose

People mistake illnesses for each other all the time. Many people use their prior experience with an illness to guess at what they have, but there are a number of problems with that. Symptoms are easy to misinterpret because they can present in different ways in your body depending on several factors, such as the strength of your immune system, other conditions you might be suffering with and even the seasons and the environment you’re in. Some of the worst illnesses can start out pretty mild. For example, the flu has no symptoms when you’re first exposed to it, and gradually your symptoms can become extremely painful and even dangerous.

The treatments you try might not work

If you misdiagnose your illness from the beginning, the treatments you try will likely be ineffective. Think about it: If you’re taking medicines that are meant for someone with a cold when you actually have pneumonia, you are only going to get sicker as you wait for the ineffective treatment to work. This risk is doubled during flu season. For most people, the solution when they want to forgo a trip to the doctor is to take some antibiotics they have left over from the last time they were sick. The problem with this is that the flu is viral, so taking antibiotics will not work it will only contribute to antibiotic resistance as the flu continues to take its toll on your body. This can waste valuable time and put you at risk of serious complications.

You could harm others in the process

The longer you remain without a diagnosis, the more dangerous it will become for others to be around you. Young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to infection, so what seems like a little cold to you can quickly become life-threatening for them. If you are spending any amount of time with people from more vulnerable populations, you should take every possible illness seriously, to avoid exposing weaker immune systems to bacteria and viruses they aren’t equipped to fight off.

While it can be tempting to try to muscle through an illness without a visit to a medical professional, all you’re really doing is prolonging your suffering and putting others at risk. Instead, take half an hour of your day to visit your local AFC Urgent Care, and get your sickness addressed. And with AFC Urgent Care’s guaranteed walk-in appointments, you’ll be seen and on your way again in no time! Find an urgent care center near you at https://www.afcurgentcare.com/.