When someone calls you about a sore throat or a fever, it’s not unusual to want medical help immediately.
That’s especially true when it’s a child or a person with a medical condition.
But when you don’t have any immediate medical needs, and you’re sicker than usual, you can be more likely to seek out help.
This article is about what you need to know about when to ask.
Ask questions about your symptoms and ask if they’re related to your medical condition If you’re having symptoms that aren’t related to a medical problem, you may want to ask about them and get the help you need.
You may be able to get the right help without calling the emergency room.
If your symptoms aren’t severe enough to require medical attention, or if they don’t bother you, you’re probably healthy enough to ask, said Barbara Kupfers, a family medicine physician at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
You can also ask about your health, if you’re getting more severe symptoms or a chronic condition, and ask about what other people are experiencing, she said.
This type of questions will help you to determine what’s likely the most important factor in your condition.
“You’re more likely than not to get a good answer if you don,t get into a fight or feel like you’re going crazy,” Kupfs said.
Ask about your treatment options The first thing to consider is whether you’re really in need of medical attention.
“Your medical condition should be considered when you’re in the emergency department,” Kups said.
“If you’re asking about your condition and you don.t have a prescription for your medicine, it might not be necessary to ask if you have access to it.”
Ask about treatment options if you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic medical condition such as asthma, allergies or Crohn’s disease, Kupfen said.
If you have any of these conditions, your doctor might prescribe medication for you, but the medication can’t treat your symptoms.
Ask if there’s a doctor at your hospital to see if you can get your medications through the hospital.
“When a patient with a serious medical condition needs urgent medical attention they should contact the nearest emergency department for help, because there is no substitute for a doctor,” KUpfers said.
The same applies to people who are in their 40s and older.
“Ask for referrals from their doctors if you want to see a doctor that can help you get the best treatment and prevent more serious conditions,” KU Medical Center said.
Kupfaers recommends contacting your health care provider for any referrals you need or have made.
You also can ask about other things that might be interfering with your symptoms, such as medications that are interfering with the natural flow of the immune system, KUpfen said, or your weight.
If these things are causing your symptoms or are interfering in the normal flow of your immune system (i.e., your body doesn’t produce enough of certain proteins that help fight off infections), it might be time to consult your doctor.
KUpfaers said it’s important to know what you’re supposed to do in order to get better.
“I don’t think it’s necessary to be in a fight with the doctor,” she said, “just to be sure that you can talk to them and ask them questions.”
The best way to stay healthy and avoid getting sick is to get enough exercise, KU’s Kupford said.
He recommends taking a brisk walk and eating a balanced diet, but also doing other activities that are low in sugar, salt and alcohol, as well as exercising.
“There are things that you should do to maintain a healthy lifestyle that aren.t necessarily easy to do, but it can help,” KUPFERS said.
To learn more about health and wellness, visit www.healthcare.k12.org.
Contact Brittany Hager The Associated Press contributed to this report.