It starts with coughing. Then night sweats. Finally you come to realize there is a sharp, stabbing pain in your lower left side. Or is there?
Online symptom checkers have been a refuge for people everywhere who are uncertain of the severity of their symptoms.
A handful of people will delve too deep, losing sleep because their online research revealed that the first stages of many fatal illnesses mimic the flu. The majority of internet users, however, should realize that online health advice is an invaluable resource for them to tap into. Why?
1. Health advice online is an inexpensive alternative to seeing a doctor.
Of course, that statement comes with a lot disclaimers like, “Googling coughing up blood is never a good idea and if you are coughing up blood you should see your doctor straight away.” Still, with a little common sense, reading advice online can be helpful and free of charge.
2. Health help is a click away!
Seeking help for minor, treatable ailments online is immediate and convenient. There is no need to schedule appointments or take time off from school or work.
3. Narrowing things down may be easier online.
According to studies by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, over half or 66 percent of internet uses search a specific illness or medical condition.
Your doctor may hand you a pamphlet or two, but the internet is going to provide you with pages and pages of search results and hours worth of reading.
4. Online, you can get health help from a community.
If you go for a checkup when you are pregnant, your doctor will most likely not be pregnant at the same time, too. 19 percent of all internet users seeking health advice are pregnant, so you have pretty high chances there. Or, on a more serious note, doctors treating their patients for cancer have rarely had it themselves. Want to talk to other people who know exactly what you are going through?
Those people are online, and a good deal of them are waiting to talk to you. People want to go through things together, so go join that community that is waiting for you.
5. You have more freedom online.
Want to look up natural remedies that your doctor may not use or think to recommend? When you are on the internet, no one is stopping you. Online health advice gives you the freedom to be you.
Online health advice does not replace your doctor, but it does give you more options when your symptoms are not severe.