We’ve got everything we could possibly one right there at our fingertips – literally. No matter what you might be looking for, you’ll be able to find it using your smartphone or logging onto a laptop or tablet, because the internet is full of information. In fact, the internet is just information, it’s just given to us in different formats.
So of course, it’s going to be tempting to use this amazing resource if you’re feeling unwell and you want to know what might be wrong. After all, you use the internet to find out about the weather, the traffic, the news, opening times for stores, addresses, and so much more, so why not also search up your symptoms and find out what’s wrong with you?
The fact is that this is usually a bad idea, and nothing can replace getting the expertise of a qualified medical expert. Read on to find out why it’s always best to see an expert for a diagnosis, no matter what you think it might be.
Photo by EVG Kowalievska
The biggest reason for going to see an expert for a diagnosis is that when you speak to an expert, you’ll get accurate advice and a real diagnosis. A trained medical expert will have all the knowledge and experience they need to ask the right questions and interpret your answers to give you a diagnosis – they’ll also know when they need to carry out additional tests or send you to an expert. Plus, they won’t just think about what’s happening with your health now, but instead they’ll think about your medical history, your family’s medical history, and many other factors that could lead to the right answer. They’ll even know what might be affecting hearing test results, and ensure that’s not a problem when they assess you.
All this means that the chances of a misdiagnosis are much slimmer than if you were to try to work it all out yourself, and that leads to treatment starting more quickly, which can make a big difference in the end result and how serious your illness becomes.
The internet has revolutionised many things, and a lot of the time it’s very helpful, but that’s not what can be said when you’re trying to diagnose yourself. Because all you’ll have is some symptoms and you won’t think of your health in a full way like a specialist would, you’ll be missing out on a lot of information, so the results you get back after searching may well be wrong, and point you in entirely the wrong direction.
Search engines can provide a huge number of different results for even the most minor symptom you search for, and it’s human nature to assume the worst, so you’ll probably start thinking that your problem is a major one. It might be, but unless you speak to a doctor, you won’t know for sure, and that’s where panic sets in. The more you worry about being ill, the more unwell you’ll get – you won’t magically develop the condition you think you have, but you can affect your mental health or make your physical health poor due to worry and stress.
If you see a doctor to begin with and don’t google any of your symptoms, you won’t have anything to panic about, and when you are diagnosed, you can calmly listen to the advice you’re given without any other distraction getting in the way.
Tailored Treatment Plans
Another excellent reason for getting medical help and attention from an expert is that they’ll be able to create a tailored treatment plan for you. Taking what they know about the condition you have, your lifestyle, and your family history, for example, they’ll have a good idea of what kind of medication will work for you, and what should be avoided. They’ll know about allergies, preferences, and even what kind of job you do, which could make a difference to the treatment plan they suggest.
This isn’t something you’ll be able to do for yourself, as it takes many years of experience and a vast amount of medical knowledge to know what to do and how to get it right. If you self-diagnose through the internet, you might be tempted to self-medicate as well, and at best, you won’t get the results you’re looking for, but at worst, this could be dangerous, and even fatal. Leave things to the experts and trust that they know what they’re doing, and you’ll be a lot safer.