You know that if you’ve broken a bone, you’re bleeding profusely or you can’t breathe, you want to head to the nearest emergency room or urgent clinic. But sometimes you can hurt yourself or experience a health problem and you’re unsure about just how serious it is. Can it wait until tomorrow or a few days to address, or do you need to do something about it right away? Some problems are best dealt with as soon as you can, rather than leaving them until later. So which issues are more pressing and require you to make an emergency appointment or head to the ER?
If you hurt your eye, it could be easy to ignore it or hope it gets better quickly. Even if it hurts, you might think that everything is fine and it will heal on its own. However, an eye injury could be more serious than you first think. Whether you have been hit or you think that you might have scratched your eye, there could be serious or even permanent damage if you’re not careful. An eye injury might require a trip to the emergency room or to an optometrist or ophthalmologist, who can also provide advice if you make an urgent appointment.
Broken or Knocked-Out Tooth
Knocking out a tooth is something that can happen playing sports, if you trip and fall, or even if you’re assaulted. Even if it hurts, you might be tempted to wait to address it with a dentist. But taking quick action is important if you have a tooth broken or knocked out. A tooth could be replaced and fitted back into the socket if you’re quick enough. Make an emergency appointment with your dentist office to see your dentist ASAP. You should use some gauze to stop any bleeding and collect the tooth. Clean off the tooth and keep it in some milk or, if you can, fit it back into the socket and bite down.
Large Burn or Scald
Some minor burns or scalds can be treated with first aid at home. However, there are times when you should seek medical attention instead. If the burn is larger than your hand, it’s one of the times when it’s best not to try and treat it on your own. You should also see a doctor if the burn is deep, if any part of the skin is white or charred, and if you have blisters on your hands, feet, arms, legs, face, or genitals. All chemical or electrical burns should be seen by a doctor too.
We can all sometimes accidentally hit our heads. You don’t necessarily need to go to the ER just because you’ve bumped your head on something when standing up too fast. Our heads are pretty resilient. But it’s also important not to dismiss head injuries that could be serious. If you or someone else hits their head (or is hit by something), it’s important to watch out for signs of concussion and other problems. Signs such as headaches, vomiting, and dizziness may warrant a trip to the hospital.
Some injuries require urgent treatment, even if it might not seem like they do. Faster treatment will help you to heal faster and prevent further problems.