As the coronavirus pandemic continues, you are doing all the rights things to stay safe and to help slow the spread of COVID-19. You are washing your hands, wearing a mask, social distancing, and staying home whenever possible.
But what about your overall physical and mental health? While staying home helps keep COVID-19 at bay, acute and chronic medical conditions are still a concern. And with low activity levels and higher stress, new health issues may have surfaced that could be putting you at risk.
Unfortunately, taking care of your health is no less critical during the pandemic. If anything, it is more crucial for you to continue with doctor visits and to seek ongoing medical care, especially if you have a chronic condition. Here are a few facts to consider before you cancel or delay your next doctor’s appointment.
Chronic and Acute Conditions Need Medical Attention
Health care officials urge patients to continue to seek medical care during the coronavirus pandemic. They caution against waiting to see a doctor or skipping appointments since this could increase morbidity and mortality associated with both chronic and acute health conditions.
According to the CDC, a recent study found that “an estimated 41% of U.S. adults had delayed or avoided medical care including urgent or emergency care (12%) and routine care (32%).”
The bottom line is, the less healthy you are, the more damage the coronavirus can do to your body.
Chronic Conditions Need Consistent Care
Patients with chronic conditions such as asthma, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes need to maintain regular check-ups with their doctors. Depending on your situation and treatment plan, you may have telehealth options available. If chronic health issues are left untreated, these conditions could lead to more severe complications down the road or may become life-threatening.
Acute Conditions Need Immediate Care
If you are suffering from conditions such as bronchitis, pneumonia, strep throat or ear infections, contact your primary care doctor to schedule an appointment. Acute medical conditions come on quickly, and in most cases can be treated with antibiotics or medications. But waiting to see a doctor could cause your condition to become much worse, and in some cases turn life-threatening.
Ways to Take Care of Mental Health Issues
The lack of social interactions, coupled with the stress of the pandemic, can take a significant toll on your mental health. If you were taking mental health or stress treatments prior to the pandemic, it is crucial to continue these treatments and doctor visits during the pandemic.
Social interaction is available through video chat sessions, and you can speak to a therapist about any significant issues you’re facing. Stress management is also critical right now, as many stressful situations are compounding on top of each other. The CDC also has some “free and confidential resources that can help you and a loved one connect with a skilled, trained counselor in your area.”
In-Person or Telehealth Appointment: How to Decide
It is understandable to be wary about visiting a hospital or clinic during the pandemic. However, avoiding medical care is not going to make your situation better.
Fortunately, many health care facilities, including Mason Park Medical Clinic, have developed telehealth solutions, and are using extra safety precautions to ensure the health and safety of their patients.
Here is a quick overview of situations for which an in-person visit is crucial, and when you can meet with your doctor virtually.
- Emergencies – If you have any kind of medical emergency, call 911 or go directly to the Emergency Room (ER). The longer you delay care, the worse your situation can get.
- Ongoing Care – For those with chronic conditions like diabetes, cancer or other persistent ailments, keeping appointments with your doctor is crucial, as managing these conditions will prevent them from getting out of control. Fortunately, telehealth meetings can work much of the time. However, ask your doctor when it is right to go in person (i.e., for blood work or testing).
- Medical Queries – Health issues can pop up at any time. For non-emergency questions, a virtual session is likely suitable. However, if a situation gets quickly out of control, a trip to the hospital ER or clinic is better than waiting.
Additionally, the CDC recommends getting a flu shot this year as it can help your body ward off other illnesses that can be worsened by COVID-19.
Mason Park Medical Clinic is Here for You
The practitioners at Mason Park Medical Clinic are ready to help you take care of your health. We follow all CDC healthcare guidelines so in-person visits are not an issue. For your convenience, we also offer telehealth and telemedicine options.
Call us at (281) 646-0740 to schedule an appointment, or if you prefer, you can schedule an appointment online now. Be sure to book your appointment before your 2020 health insurance expires on December 31.