When Should You Go To Urgent Care For Your Respiratory Illness?

Health & Medical Blog

Most people get the occasional cold and even the occasional flu. They might take some cold medicine to ease their symptoms, but in many cases, they recover without professional medical care. However, there are times when respiratory illnesses do require medical care. Urgent care is often the best place to go when you need prompt treatment for the cold, flu, COVID-19, or another respiratory illness. But how do you know whether your condition requires a visit to an urgent care center? Take a look.

You have a fever that won't come down.

If you have a fever, there's a pretty good chance you have more than the common cold. The flu, COVID-19, and more serious respiratory conditions like pertussis often cause fevers. If you can bring the fever down with NSAIDs or a cool bath, then you don't usually need to be too concerned. But if these measures won't bring your fever down, then it's a good idea to go to an urgent care center. A sustained, high fever can cause permanent brain damage, and urgent care can give you care to bring that fever down before this happens.

You're wheezing.

Sneezing, coughing, clearing your throat — these are all pretty normal when you have a respiratory illness. Wheezing, though, is on another level. Wheezing happens when your lower airways, such as your bronchi and lungs, start to close up. This could lead to low blood oxygen levels soon if it has not already. An urgent care center can give you medication to dilate your airways and ensure you keep getting air. They may also diagnose you with a more serious condition like pneumonia, which will require more intensive care.

You can't stop coughing.

If your coughing reaches the point that you can't control it, then you should head to an urgent care clinic. Strong, persistent coughing can lead to damaged chest muscles, permanent lung damage, and even loss of consciousness. There are steroid medications that can help with this, and a doctor at urgent care can prescribe them. In some cases, they may also give you stronger pain relievers to keep you more comfortable when you're coughing so much.

You should also head to urgent care if your cough has a "wailing" or "screeching" quality. This often indicates that you have pertussis, which can be more serious and require antibiotics to treat.

Knowing when to seek care for a respiratory illness is important! Share the information above with those you love.


26 October 2022