I’m sure we’ve all done it more than once.
We get a nagging headache for a couple of days. Every morning while having coffee, we see zigzag lines and get a bit nauseous after. And twice we felt like throwing up in the middle of a long and boring Zoom meeting (literally, not figuratively) as the headache develops into a pounding migraine.
Since going to a doctor’s clinic because of a headache may look a bit like overreacting, we instead grab our phones and laptops and search for the possible causes of the discomfort. We go from headache due to sleep deprivation, to stress and anxiety, to a concussion, to a brain tumor. We spend about an hour poring over other people’s testimonies and blogs, trying to find an answer only to end up with an even worse headache than when we started our research.
While this practice may look like an ideal way to save time, money, and effort for a symptom as trivial as a headache, it may not be the most responsible approach. Here are five reasons why you should limit your online research for your symptoms and switch to finding real, professional medical help online.
- You don’t know how reliable a health website is.
No matter how well they dress up their website to make it look like it’s a safe place to look for health answers, it still is just that… a website. The contributors may even introduce themselves as doctors but how do you verify their qualifications and competency?
You can, instead, visit legitimate medical consultation websites such as Virtual Consult PH where you can set up an appointment with a real, certified doctor who can meet you through a video chat for an online consultation.
2. You could misdiagnose yourself.
Searching for medications you can take for your symptoms is not like searching for the Spanish translation for the word ambulance. Some websites may ask you to fill-out an electronic form with your symptoms and then provide you with a list of pills you should take. Reading up on a disease and then convincing yourself that you have it is not a wise move either.
Get a real diagnosis and real prescription from a real doctor instead. You can do all these online too. Only, it’s the real deal
3. You might cause undue stress to yourself and your family.
Convincing yourself you have a brain tumor just because you have slightly the same symptoms as one described by an unqualified influencer online is a no-no. You don’t need that kind of stress. Know that in order for a doctor to make an official diagnosis on your case, he will have to run tests and scans and may even seek the opinion of other specialists. And that is why before you make a conclusion on what you really do have, it is best that you have at least seen a doctor, in person or online.
4. You could be delaying getting professional help while you’re glued to your laptop.
You ever heard of, “Any minute later and he would not have made it. Good thing you brought him here before it was too late.”?
Yup, this could happen to you if you keep delaying that trip to the clinic or that appointment online just because this health blogger you follow is telling you to “find your center” first.
The bottom line is you cannot replace professional medical advice with an online research. If you think and feel that your symptoms are worth that trip to the doctor’s clinic, then stop wasting precious minutes in front of your laptop and start looking for a doctor instead. There are online platforms like Virtual Consult PH where you can find doctors who can meet you online through a video chat – this could be a better alternative to stepping out of your house and lining up outside a doctor’s clinic.
The new normal in healthcare tells us to vigilantly pursue immediate and legitimate medical advice and assistance without necessarily exposing ourselves to further health risks (a.k.a. the corona virus). This can now be done through telemedicine or online medical consultations.
Try it the next time you find yourself googling another health symptom.
Stay safe and healthy!