Allergies are a common health issue for people of all ages. According to a recent study by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, around 26 million adults have food allergies in the US. While common cold and cough are the basic symptoms of an allergy, severe reactions often need immediate medical attention.
If over-the-counter medicines are not providing you much-needed relief for your allergy, it is time to visit your local urgent care center.
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What is an Allergy?
An allergy is an abnormal reaction of your immune system to an external allergen. An allergen is usually a harmful substance found in the environment that affects people with hypersensitive antibodies in their systems. Seasonal allergies rise in numbers during spring, summer, or fall.
Some of the common types are:
- Food allergy
- Hay fever or allergic rhinitis
- Respiratory allergy
- Skin allergies
- Insect allergies
Common symptoms of allergic reactions are:
- Runny and stuffy nose
- Continuous coughing
- Swelling in the face and different parts of the body
- Wheezing and asthmatic attacks
- Watery or swollen eyes
- Itchy skin and rashes
When Should You Visit a Doctor for An Allergy?
You can treat most of the allergic reactions and symptoms with basic medications and home remedies. But, when they cause life-threatening medical conditions, you should not delay visiting your doctor at an urgent care center.
You should consult a doctor when:
- You have prolonged symptoms like cold and cough or sinus infections for more than three days
- You have underlying medical conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or other liver and kidney-related problems.
- Clinic medications do not provide immediate relief
- Allergic reactions interfere with your sleeping patterns
Why Should You Choose Urgent Care over a Hospital ER?
A hospital emergency room (ER) mainly works for life-threatening emergency services like road or fire accidents, traumatic head injury, heart attacks, severe bleeding, and unconsciousness.
An urgent care center exclusively works for smaller medical issues like animal bites, allergic reactions, minor eye and ear problems, and sports injuries.
Compared to a hospital ER, it is a cheaper option. The center also provides faster services for minor medical conditions.
Top Things to Check While Looking for an Urgent Medical Care Center
While most units provide quick and inexpensive services, here are a few things you must consider while choosing an urgent medical care center for your allergy.
How Far is the Clinic Located from your Home?
While suffering from a severe allergic reaction, the last thing you would want is to drive through heavy traffic to reach the place.
It is important to choose an urgent care center that is easily reachable within your locality.
Do You Need an Appointment?
Most big hospitals attend only to patients who visit with a prior appointment. Sometimes, you may be unable to connect over the phone for various reasons.
It is advisable to find a center that offers walk-in service for patients. You should select a place open on all seven days of a week, including public holidays for emergency services.
A reputed urgent medical care center also offers virtual appointments from mobile devices. You can talk to the doctor about your allergy from the comfort of your home.
What Kind of Doctors Work in the Centre?
An urgent care center will have medical practitioners like nurses, general physicians, dermatologists, pediatricians, orthopedics, physiotherapists, and lab technicians.
It is important to check the services in your local center and select the one according to the type of allergic reaction.
What are the Payment Options Available?
The best medical care centers will offer a seamless and easy billing and payment process for the patients. You can select the center that accepts online and credit card payments according to your convenience.
Can You Use Your Insurance Policy?
Most health insurance plans are tied up with leading urgent medical care centers in the US. When you plan to visit a center, it is important to check these details to avoid cash payments.
It is advisable to call up your insurance service provider to get a clarification on their network with the urgent care.
Can They Get Your Medical Records and Prescriptions?
Some medical conditions like an asthmatic attack post an allergy require follow-up sessions. An urgent medical care center provides the health records of the treatment so that you can visit your family doctor for a follow-up at a later stage.
Allergic reactions may keep reoccurring in some cases. It is not advisable to delay the treatment if your local doctor is unavailable. An urgent care center is the best option to treat allergies at a cheaper cost.
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