People often think of urgent care centers as places to get treatment for various injuries. You may head here, for example, if you sprain an ankle or cut yourself while cooking. Indeed, urgent care facilities can do a great job of treating these types of urgent, although not-quite-emergency, injuries. But did you know that urgent care facilities can treat illness as well as injuries? Here are some symptoms that should prompt you to visit your local urgent care center.
A Sustained Fever
A mild fever can often be managed at home. You can take a dose of acetaminophen or a similar medication, take a cool shower, or relax with an ice pack on your head. When you should be worried is if these measures do not bring down your fever or if your fever lasts more than a day. You may have a more serious underlying infection, whether it be an abscessed tooth or a case of pneumonia, that needs more coordinated care. An urgent care center is a great place to get checked out so you can figure out what's causing the fever and have that issue treated.
Dehydration can result from physical activity in extreme heat, or from vomiting and diarrhea as a result of illness. Signs of dehydration include dark urine, lack of urine, dizziness, and fatigue. It's a good idea to head to the urgent care center if you think you're dehydrated. They can give you IV fluids to bring your hydration levels back up. If there is an underlying illness leading to dehydration, they can address that too.
Lower Respiratory Symptoms
Most people do not need medical care for a runny nose, sneezing, and other upper respiratory infection symptoms. But if you have lower respiratory symptoms, like chest pain, a dry cough, and mucous in your throat, then you should head to an urgent care center. These symptoms often indicate that you have bronchitis, and bronchitis can quickly progress to pneumonia — which is very serious. An urgent care center can assess your symptoms, take some chest x-rays, and make a diagnosis. They can then prescribe antibiotics and other medications, if needed, to keep the illness from getting any worse.
If you develop any of the symptoms above, then you should head to the local urgent care center. You will get faster care than in an emergency room or at your local doctor's office.