When Should I See a Doctor?

Hardly anyone enjoys going to the doctor, but there are situations in which seeing a doctor is necessary to prevent more problems in the long run. Regular health care helps you live a longer, healthier, and more active life. From treatment for injuries and accidents to routine preventative care, attending to your health needs promptly could enable you to be treated more effectively at a cheaper overall cost. This guide will help you learn about the ways in which different healthcare professionals can help you and about when you should seek medical care.

Yearly, For Preventative Health Checkups

According to TrustCare, going to the doctor for preventative checkups can help detect potential health issues early and keeping up with routine appointments allows you to learn more about your overall health status. Conditions such as diabetes and atrial fibrillation often produce no symptoms, so attending a checkup could uncover these concerns and allow you to begin treatment before the condition progresses to an advanced stage. 

During a typical wellness visit, the physician will check your vital signs, including your height, weight, blood pressure, pulse, and temperature. He or she will perform a physical examination which will include listening to your heart sounds and breathing with a stethoscope. The clinician will also feel your abdomen to detect any masses or areas of pain, and the exam usually finishes with checks of your reflexes, sensation, gait, muscle tone, and coordination. Blood and urine tests are often ordered to measure blood sugar, cholesterol, and vitamin levels. 

Currently, most doctors recommend having a checkup at least every two years for patients under the age of 50. Individuals ages 50 and above are advised to have an annual exam.

Every Six Months, For Preventative Dental Care

During a routine dental visit, the dentist will check the health of the teeth and gums, and an oral cancer screening will be performed. These visits also include professional teeth cleaning with a dental hygienist. Having regular dental cleanings can help improve gum health by preventing the formation of gum pockets, and cleanings remove hardened plaque that cannot be removed with at-home brushing. Seeing the dentist on a routine basis will help detect cavities and other concerns that could need treatment and detecting these concerns in the early stages will allow for cheaper and more effective treatment. Currently, most health organizations advise that patients of all ages have dental cleanings at least once every six months.

After an Accident

From motor vehicle collisions to burns or falls at home, accidents are often a frightening experience. According to The Patel Firm, adrenaline and a heightened level of stress can mask injuries right after an accident, so it’s important to seek medical treatment anyway in order to prevent further problems. After the adrenaline wears off and problems become apparent, treatment may be more difficult. Individuals who are seriously injured should be taken to an emergency room, and minor injuries should be assessed at an urgent care facility or at a same-day appointment with the patient’s primary care doctor. The doctor will ask questions about when and how the accident occurred, and they will also perform an exam to check for both visible and invisible injuries. Patients may be advised to have follow-up care.

When You Have Unusual Symptoms

In addition to attending routine checkups when you are well, it is particularly important to see a doctor when you are experiencing symptoms that could indicate an underlying condition. For example, symptoms such as bleeding between periods, rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss, and swelling of the abdomen, legs, or feet should always prompt a doctor’s visit. You should also schedule a dentist appointment if you experience tooth sensitivity, loose teeth, or bleeding gums.


Doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals are there to listen to your concerns, ease your pain, and determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. Always schedule regular preventative visits to keep on top of your health status, and check with them if you are experiencing any issues that concern you.

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