Did you know that the American telemedicine industry will reach an estimated $64 billion by 2025?
It’s not just an increase in chronic health conditions or seasonal viruses that will contribute to this whopping number either. Americans have turned to online doctor consultation services for the convenience of not leaving home as well as the ability to spend less on healthcare costs.
So, when should you seek an online doctor consultation rather than visit a local doctor? Read on to learn about 10 health situations that make the convenient option a great idea.
- You Have a Stomach Virus
If you have a stomach virus that just doesn’t seem to let up, the last thing you probably want to do is leave the house. With the help of an online doctor consultation, you can get advice on treating common symptoms like stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Your online doctor may prescribe you anti-nausea and anti-diarrheal medications or recommend some you can buy locally. They can also suggest ways to replenish fluids and prevent dehydration.
- You Want to Stop Smoking
Even though you may know the risks that smoking presents to your heart and whole body, you might not know how to quit on your own. An online doctor can determine what triggers you to smoke and offer several options to kick the habit.
Your doctor might suggest using medications, nicotine patches, or chewing gum that can help you stop smoking. You can also get help through therapy and learn to quit cold turkey if you’d prefer.
- Your Allergies Keep Acting Up
When your seasonal allergies keep you sneezing and miserable, consider reaching out for an online doctor consultation. You’ll be able to share your allergy triggers and health history so your doctor can recommend the best treatment for you.
You might end up with prescription allergy medication or nasal spray. Your doctor might also recommend you see a specialist for further testing when your symptoms seem very severe.
- You Suspect an Ear Infection
Do you have a sharp pain in your ear and have trouble hearing? Rather than suffer day and night, let an online doctor ask about all your symptoms and determine if you might have an ear infection.
Some ear infections require an antibiotic that your online doctor can prescribe. You might also get recommended to use over-the-counter pain medications and ear drops.
- You’ve Caught a Cold or the Flu
With the conditions having often similar symptoms, it can be hard to tell if you just have a cold or the more serious flu. Contacting an online doctor as soon as possible can help clarify your diagnosis and help avoid some flu complications.
If your doctor suggests a cold, you’ll likely get recommended to rest and use over-the-counter cold and cough medications. When you have the flu, your doctor might prescribe a medication that can shorten your days of symptoms. You’ll also get advice on whether you may need urgent care locally.
- You Have a Skin Rash
When you have itchy skin, it could mean you have a bug bite, skin condition or just simple irritation. To demystify your rash, you can have an online doctor take a look at it through a video conference or images. They’ll also ask about other symptoms since a rash can indicate a more serious health condition.
Once the doctor has identified the rash and cause, they might recommend something as simple as a cream you can buy at a local pharmacy. They can also advise on whether the rash is contagious and provide tips on how to minimize irritation until it goes away.
- You’re Feeling Very Stressed
Have you found it hard to cope with life’s stresses lately? If so, you could have a condition such as an anxiety disorder or depression that needs treatment.
You can often find online doctors specializing in psychology and who can prescribe certain types of psychiatric medications. You can also have online therapy appointments to give you advice on coping with the struggles you’re going through.
- You Want Some Nutrition Advice
Whether you want to lose weight or just eat more healthily, you don’t need to drive to the doctor to get that advice. An online doctor can take a look at your weight, exercise habits, and typical meals to provide appropriate nutritional counseling.
An online doctor can also offer nutrition tips that can help with managing conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You can also ask for recommendations on vitamins you may lack.
- You Suspect a Bladder Infection
While they sometimes impact men, women usually struggle the most with urinary tract infections. If you have burning or pain when you urinate or notice that your urine seems unusual, then reach out to an online doctor quickly.
If not treated promptly, a simple urinary tract infection can become a dangerous kidney infection. Your online doctor can prescribe common antibiotics and counsel you on foods and drinks to avoid while you recover.
- You Might Have Pink Eye
When your eye seems itchy and red or has a discharge, you could have pink eye caused by a virus, bacteria, or allergy. Thanks to your computer or phone camera, an online doctor can get a closer look at your eye to narrow down the cause. They’ll also ask about recent activities and other symptoms.
Your doctor might recommend eyedrops with or without an antibiotic in them. If the cause is an allergy, you may need to take an antihistamine medication.
Consider Having an Online Doctor Consultation
An online doctor consultation can provide a less stressful experience than rushing to the doctor’s office. However, don’t consider it as a full replacement to a relationship with a local physician.
You’ll still need to see a doctor in person if you have an injury or experience a life-threatening health condition like chest pain. You’ll also still need laboratory tests, x-rays, and other in-person services occasionally.
Now that you’ve learned about online doctor services, go check out our other helpful health posts!