Urgent Care Centers Treat Colds and Flu in WinterPosted by in Urgent Care
When cold and flu symptoms become unmanageable, patients often find it difficult to get a fast appointment with primary care doctors, whose appointment schedules are frequently full weeks in advance. Yet, cold and flu symptoms rarely merit a visit to the emergency room. The alternative for many of these patients is an urgent care center.
These facilities allow patients to receive medical care in the evenings after work or on the weekends, as well as during normal business hours.
The most common ailments that urgent care centers treat during the winter months are respiratory ailments, such as cold, flu, bronchitis, ear infections, sinus infections, and pneumonia.
Respiratory Ailments Explained
What is the difference between a cold, the flu, asthma, and a bronchial or sinus infection? Based on symptoms, it can be difficult for patients to determine which is which. A physician at an urgent care center can help to diagnose the respiratory problem and provide the right kind of prescription or other recommendations to relieve symptoms.
- Colds and flu are the result of a virus and cannot be treated with antibiotics. Medications can be taken to decrease a fever and make symptoms more manageable, but viruses usually have to run their course.
- Bronchial and sinus infections are usually caused by a bacterium. In this case, an antibiotic can be effective. A bronchial infection affects the bronchial tubes in the lungs and usually causes a cough, while a sinus infection typically results in a stuffy or runny nose with yellowed mucus. These infections can often go hand in hand, or one can lead to the other. Sinus infections or chronic sinus problems, such as rhinitis, are sometimes caused by an allergic reaction to an environmental or food irritant.
- Ear infections generally cause pain or a feeling of fullness in the ears. Children are frequently affected by these infections, particularly boys. Sinus and ear infections often appear together.
- Pneumonia is an inflammation or infection of the lungs and can be caused by either a bacterium or a virus. In severe cases, the patient may have to be hospitalized.
Top Medical Problems Treated at an Urgent Care Center
Besides respiratory problems, some of the most common medical issues that are treated at urgent care centers include:
- Abdominal pain.
- Cuts and injuries that cannot be sufficiently treated at home.
- Animal and insect bites.
- Allergic reactions, asthma attacks, and rashes.
- Severe headaches.
- Skin infections.
- Soft-tissue sprains and strains.
- Bone fractures.
- Routine physical examinations.
Both children and adults can be seen at an urgent care center in New Jersey or another state. Non-resident visitors from another state can also visit these facilities.
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