When is urgent care necessary? It goes without saying that if you’re feeling immense pain and discomfort, you should get help right away. Depending on how severe the pain is and where it’s located, you might want to visit the ER. But what about those underwhelming yet concerning symptoms you’re just not sure of? Luckily, urgent care services cover a wide array of illnesses and symptoms. Let’s take a look at some of the more urgent symptoms you should look out for.
Urgent Symptoms That Require Immediate Attention
1. Chest pains
Your chest is both an area of great importance and vulnerability. Your heart and your lungs hug snuggly in your chest, so experiencing chest pain can mean a variety of concerning issues—namely, a heart attack. Even if you’re thinking the pain will pass, if it’s a heart attack, seek immediate help in an emergency room instead of urgent care services. If you’re having a hard time breathing due to pain or discomfort, you should also seek out emergency care.
In any other case, such as intense acid reflux or mild pain, visit your urgent care center as soon as possible. While it’s likely that mild pain and acid reflux will subside with little to no effects, it just isn’t worth waiting it out. Period.
2. Difficulty breathing
As we briefly went over, having a hard time breathing warrants an immediate visit to the emergency room. There are many possible causes of scary symptoms related to breathing: asthma, lung infection, stroke, and even a heart attack. Don’t take any of those symptoms lightly.
An anxiety attack is also a likely cause. Although not life threatening like the aforementioned conditions, an anxiety attack is a good reason to seek urgent care services, especially since they are typically pretty difficult to manage. They can also be incredibly uncomfortable and even painful.
In cases where pneumonia is a possibility, a prompt visit to an urgent care center will be necessary. An urgent care doctor has all the necessary tools and medicines to treat this potentially dangerous condition.
3. Dizziness or weakness
Dizziness can be pretty common and isn’t necessarily any cause for concern. However, if the symptom worsens to a state of fainting or severe weakness, you may want to go to the ER. This one is a bit tricky because it could be basically nothing, or something very severe, such as an aneurysm.
If you aren’t familiar with aneurysms, they’re bad enough that you should consider seeing the doctor over just a couple bouts of dizziness. They are life-threatening, or they could cause permanent neurological damage. Dizziness is also a sign of a severe infection, cardiac arrest, or deadly allergies.
Low blood pressure, or hypoglycemia, can often cause dizziness. These symptoms could be a possible precursor to diabetes. Seek urgent care if you experience this or similar symptoms at least several times in a short period and if you’ve ruled out other life-threatening conditions.
4. Expulsion of blood from your mouth
Whether it be by coughing or vomiting, blood should not be coming out of your mouth. This frightening symptom can be caused by a lot of things, most of which are deadly if not taken care of. Vomiting blood could be a sign of severe internal bleeding, blood clot in the lungs, bronchitis, tuberculosis, or even cancer. If you’re coughing up or vomiting blood, it could also be a sign that you ruptured something inside your body. In any case like this, you should get to the ER right away.
If an irritated throat causes you to cough up blood, due to a cold or from ingesting a little from a bloody nose, there isn’t too much cause for concern. However, you don’t want to swallow too much blood, as this can make you very ill. If your throat is irritated enough to start bleeding, it can cause infection and that could be very dangerous. If you were recently sick and have this symptom, consult your urgent care physician. Remember: any heavy blood loss can be deadly. Get to the root of the problem before you start to feel dizzy, weak, or nauseous.
5. Intense headache
A trip to the emergency room for a headache would be necessary if:
- The headache has lasted several days and is showing no signs of subsiding, and/or
- The headache is excruciating and debilitating.
Those who suffer from frequent migraines should consult a doctor as soon as possible. But while frequent migraines can make life difficult, they’re not the worst headache you can suffer from. Cluster headaches, described as the worst possible pain anyone can endure, is unfortunately common. The cause is unknown (but possibly linked to the nerve behind the eyes) and the pain can sometimes be too much to endure—hence their other name “suicide headaches.”
Even if you experience frequent migraines, you should see an urgent care physician to get the quickest relief possible. Treating these headaches is crucial; they could be a sign of inflammation in the blood vessels or the brain. If a patient goes without treatment, a stroke could follow shortly after, which can cause death in many cases and irreparable neurological damage in others.
This symptom is a bit tricky, as it relies on someone else to completely identify the symptoms. You may not even notice you’re acting strangely or slurring your words. If you or a loved one starts behaving strangely, or you notice a drastic change in their personalities or speech, seek medical attention immediately. Confusion or mental changes can be caused by stroke, seizures, neurological damage, and even diabetes. Those all require immediate emergency attention.
Confusion could also be a sign of mental exhaustion or stress, in which case visiting your urgent care physician may be the only requirement. It would be highly advisable to visit the emergency room first, though, as it could be a sign of the aforementioned illnesses. Urgent care services can identify the cause of such symptoms and give you proper care if the causes are only due to more trivial external sources.
A sudden tingling sensation, loss of function, or loss of feeling partially or entirely can be really nothing at all—or a sign of something very serious. Why chance it? A sudden numb or long-lasting numb sensation can be caused by issues with your nervous system, spinal issues, or a stroke.
Probably the most common cause of numbness anywhere on your body is a slipped or ruptured disc in your spine. Emergency attention is highly recommended, as they can quickly diagnose the issue and recommend you to the proper surgeon or neurologist before it’s too late.
Depending on where it is and what your recent activities were, numbness could be caused by an allergy or lack of circulation. You shouldn’t be concerned if you wake up from a nap to find that the arm you were sleeping on is limp and unable to move. This is simply a loss of circulation and, while that’s not ideal, it isn’t necessarily immediate cause for alarm. Especially since the feeling would likely come back on your way to the urgent care or ER. It’s good to be careful with how you rest your limbs while you sleep, because loss of circulation can cause more serious issues if cut off for long enough.
If you ingested something or touched something you have a minor allergy to, you probably wouldn’t have to visit an ER, but it could become quite an annoyance. In this case, you should seek urgent care services so they can properly diagnose and give you the proper anti-allergy medicine to combat this symptom. They can also tell you if the numbness is a more pressing issue or not.
Las Vegas Urgent Care Services
It’s important to distinguish when you should visit the ER or seek urgent care services so you can get the proper help you need, but also avoid any life-threatening situations. Quickly take a trip to Las Vegas Urgent Care if your symptoms require immediate attention from an urgent care facility.