When to go to Urgent Care for Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a bacterial infection of your lungs, and it’s not something you should ignore. While there are certain situations where you can wait things out and get better on your own, in other instances it’s best to seek medical treatment right away. Knowing when you should consider going to urgent care can help you determine whether or not there’s an issue that requires professional help. To diagnose pneumonia, a doctor will typically order imaging studies like x-rays or CT scans along with blood tests . These tools allow them to get an idea of how serious an infection is, how much damage has been done, and how quickly treatment needs to begin.
Pneumonia is a serious lung infection that is typically treated in an urgent care or emergency room. Since pneumonia can progress quickly, it’s important to call your primary care physician if you develop sudden chest pain, shortness of breath or fever, even if you feel better after coughing. In some cases, those with existing conditions like asthma may experience a milder version of these symptoms; in these cases, it’s best to call and discuss treatment options with your doctor before heading out. If you develop severe difficulty breathing or start coughing up mucus that’s bright red or brown, go straight to urgent care or hospital without delay. You could have bacterial pneumonia , which requires immediate treatment.
If you have severe symptoms, it’s important to recognize them and seek treatment as soon as possible. If your cough becomes productive (you are spitting up blood, phlegm or pinkish or rusty colored sputum), call 911 immediately. Pneumonia causes can include allergies (such as seasonal allergies), a virus (such as a cold or flu) and bacteria; some of which can be spread from person-to-person through coughing or sneezing. If you develop signs of pneumonia in addition to a fever over 100 degrees F, trouble breathing and feeling weak, seek medical attention at once. Any delay could put your life at risk.
If you have a fever that doesn’t get better after 2-3 days, have trouble breathing or have severe pain in your chest or stomach, you may be suffering from pneumonia. If your symptoms are still present after visiting with your primary care physician and they feel it’s more serious than bronchitis, they may recommend visiting an urgent care center. Pneumonia can be particularly dangerous when you already have a chronic illness like diabetes, so don’t let pneumonia linger untreated if it gets worse quickly. For more information on when to go to urgent care for allergies.