We should all have a general practitioner nearby in case of emergencies, but many people visit the doctor for seemingly common complaints as well. For instance, issues like headaches and coughs might seem trifling to us, but they might be symptoms of a much more serious condition.

However, one should also know how to take care of themselves in most non-emergency cases.

Fortunately, the right kind of self-care may help you manage several commonplace issues. Read on below for a discussion on when you should opt for self-care and when you should visit the doctor.

When To Choose Self-Care

If you feel like the health issue is trifling, you might want to skip the hassle of a doctor’s visit and simply try some OTC or home remedies on your own. If you’re pressed for time, visiting the doctor might be an additional task that’s not even that important. Of course, you always want the option of a doctor handy in case things get worse.

You can also go for self-care if you’re familiar with the situation at hand. For instance, your allergies could be flaring up like they do every season. In such cases, you know the precautionary steps you have to take, such as keeping the windows shut and turning on an air purifier. Besides managing flu on your own, you may also take some antihistamines and be careful about going out during the peak pollen season.

When To Visit A Doctor

If you have sudden hearing loss and need a hearing test, develop a persistent cough, or even get depressive feelings that affect your daily routine, it’s time to visit a primary care doctor. Such doctors are usually trained in holistic health care, which means that they know how to treat people with various ailments.

Any pressing physical, mental, or emotional condition should warrant some guidelines from a qualified medical professional. If you have chronic conditions such as arthritis, lupus, diabetes, or high blood pressure, regular monitoring by a doctor is necessary.

Routine screenings are also a reason for going to the doctor, as they can show up certain symptoms which you simply may not find on your own. The doctor will have enough knowledge to ask the right questions and deduce whether you need any special treatment or not.

Finally, a doctor may also suggest you see a specialist, such as an ENT, cardiologist, or gynecologist. With some proper recommendations, you can get to see a qualified and experienced professional who may help you out.

When To Do Both

You might visit the doctor in case of a disturbing health issue, but self-care is also necessary. For instance, you know that the diabetes medication your doctor prescribed is not going to work any magic on its own.

You should supplement the working of the medication by keeping a strict watch on your diet too. This includes reducing the intake of carbohydrates from your diet. Plus, trying out some natural home remedies comes in handy. One such example includes soaking okra into a glass of water and drinking the resulting water to beat high sugar level. But again, you should ask your doctor before trying out this home remedy.

The same goes for monitoring less dangerous health conditions, such as respiratory illnesses or the common cold. You might want to visit a doctor at some point, but self-care can go a long way in supplementing their professional guidelines.

What’s The Better Option?

Though home remedies and over-the-counter medicines may help you get some relief from a health issue, you should be aware that treating a health condition without a doctor’s supervision may have adverse effects on your health. Since a qualified doctor may diagnose your health issues in a better way, it’s always a safe bet to take help from a doctor as compared to treating your illness on your own. So, when self-care doesn’t work, heading to the right doctor is the best decision you should make.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "Self Assessment Or Going To Doctor: What’s Better?," in Medicalopedia, April 26, 2019, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/7432/self-assessment-or-going-to-doctor-whats-better/].