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Boy with allergies in a field of flowers

Yes, you CAN go to Urgent Care for That

Apr 05, 2022 Urgent Care Share:

As frustrating as it can be, some illnesses just have to run their course. But that doesn’t mean you have to suffer on your own.

Your urgent care doctor may not be able to cure what ails you, but in many cases, they can offer you some relief. More importantly, seeing a doctor early may help prevent further complications in the future.

Whether it’s seasonal allergies, a migraine headache, or a nasty bout of vomiting, your urgent care doctor can help.

Urgent Care for Seasonal Allergies

If your eyes start to itch and your nose starts to run every spring, you’re probably one of the millions of Americans who suffer from allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. In Alabama, peak allergy season runs from mid-March to late May, although many people also suffer from late summer and fall allergies.

Allergies of any kind occur when your body mounts an immune response to a substance or irritant that isn’t a pathogen (like a virus or bacteria). These substances are harmless to most people, but if you have allergies, your immune system will recognize the allergen as an intruder. Some common allergens are grass and tree pollen, pet dander, and mold. To fight off the allergen intruder, your body releases histamine. The result? Inflammation and itchiness in your eyes, nose, and throat.

Symptoms of allergic rhinitis include:

  • Itchy, watery, and/or red eyes
  • Sneezing
  • Itchy or runny nose (with clear mucus)
  • Headache

You seldom have a fever due to allergies. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you usually experience the same symptoms at around the same time each year. The severity of your symptoms may vary a little from year to year.

While there isn’t a cure for your seasonal allergies, it’s still important to see a doctor. If you have other respiratory conditions such as asthma, your allergies can make your asthma symptoms worse. And if you’ve never been diagnosed with seasonal allergies before, you may need to get tested for Covid-19 to rule out infection, even if you’ve been vaccinated and boosted. New variants are milder and may mimic allergy symptoms.

While an urgent care doctor isn’t an allergist, they can help you feel better. There are a lot of allergy treatment options out there; your doctor can recommend the most effective over-the-counter treatment for you. And if your allergies are more severe or you’re at risk for complications, your urgent care doctor may want to prescribe an antihistamine or oral steroids to help relieve your symptoms.

For many people, seasonal allergies are a minor annoyance. But since spring in Birmingham is so beautiful, you probably don’t want to spend it cooped up indoors due to allergy symptoms. If you dread the sight of that green pollen on your windshield because it means sniffles aren’t far behind, it’s time to call your primary care doctor. Your primary care doctor can help you develop a proactive treatment plan to minimize the impact of your allergy symptoms. Your doctor can also coordinate allergy testing if needed.

Most seasonal allergy symptoms can be treated by an urgent care doctor. But if you are experiencing a severe allergic reaction and swelling of your lips or tongue, are struggling to breathe, or lose consciousness, call 911 or go directly to your nearest emergency room.

Urgent Care for Migraines

If you’ve ever had a migraine before, you know it’s more than just an ordinary headache. These severe headaches can come on suddenly and last for several hours or even a few days. Migraines are usually located on one side of your head, and they can cause sensitivity to light and sound. Some people also experience nausea or visual symptoms with a migraine.

Migraines don’t often respond well to over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, and they usually severely limit your activity. No one really knows what causes migraines, but they can be triggered by stress, hormones, lack of sleep, physical strain, or even skipping meals.

Most migraines resolve on their own in several hours. If you feel like you have a migraine, the best thing you can do for your body is rest in a cool, dark, quiet room and take over-the-counter migraine medication to try to reduce the severity of your symptoms. But in some cases, you might need to see an urgent care doctor for your migraine.

Your urgent care doctor can’t cure your migraine, but they can offer some relief. Because migraines limit your activity, there’s no need to be a warrior if your migraine lasts more than a day. An injectable anti-inflammatory can help relieve your symptoms.

And if your migraine is accompanied by severe nausea and vomiting, your urgent care doctor can give you an injectable medication to relieve your nausea, especially if you can’t keep down food or clear liquids.

Once you feel better, you may want to schedule an appointment with your primary care doctor to develop a treatment plan for future migraines. It’s usually best to develop this kind of treatment plan when you’re not in the middle of a painful migraine.

If you’ve never had a migraine before, the intense pain can be alarming. But in most cases, there’s no need to visit the ER for a migraine headache. However, you should always call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room if you have symptoms of a stroke, you lose consciousness, you have a seizure, or you cannot move part of your body.

Urgent Care for Vomiting

No one ever enjoys vomiting; unfortunately, there aren’t any cures for it either. Vomiting is often caused by a virus, which means your immune system will fight off the virus without medical intervention.

However, vomiting can cause complications. Especially if your vomiting is accompanied by diarrhea, you are at risk of dehydration or electrolyte imbalance. To avoid this, you should try to drink frequent but small amounts of clear fluids. If drinking is difficult, you can chew on ice or popsicles as an alternative. Pedialyte is a great option for replenishing your electrolytes while keeping you hydrated. You shouldn’t try to eat anything while you’re vomiting.

So why would you need to visit an urgent care clinic for vomiting? Dehydration is serious and can lead to significant health complications. Visiting an urgent care clinic before you get dehydrated can help you avoid a trip later to the emergency room.

It's time to see an urgent care doctor if:

  • You've been vomiting for more than two days OR
  • You're unable to keep down even small amounts of clear liquids for 24 hours OR
  • You see signs of dehydration (dark yellow urine with a strong odor, difficulty urinating, dry mouth or eyes) at any time during your illness

Your urgent care doctor can’t cure your vomiting, but they can give you an injectable anti-emetic to slow your vomiting down. This gives you a chance to keep down fluids and to take an oral anti-emetic once you get home. At MedHelp urgent care, we can also administer IV fluids if needed to replenish fluids lost while vomiting.

You rarely need to visit the emergency room for vomiting. However, if you have blood in your vomit or if your blood pressure is so low that you can’t stand up, go straight to your nearest ER.

Even if you’re sick with something a doctor can’t cure, your urgent care doctor can usually do something to help you feel better. The experienced providers at MedHelp can give you the help you need, provide relief for your symptoms, and prevent further complications from your illness.

Don't suffer at home on your own.

The doctors at MedHelp urgent care clinics are here to help. And with five locations in the Birmingham metro area open seven days a week, we're here for you when you need us.