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Parents tend to take their children to the doctor at the earliest sign of illness. But it’s easy to forget that, even as adults, some sicknesses need medical attention. If any of these signs appear, it’s probably best to head to a physician.

Difficulty Breathing

Having a bit of congestion during a cold is normal. But when this symptom escalates, especially if it becomes difficult to pull in air, it can be the sign of either an intense cold or something entirely different. At its worse, this can be the sign of an infection where medical attention is time sensitive.

Persistent Vomiting

Similarly to congestion, vomiting is only a serious symptom if it is intense or persistent. Continued vomiting is a sign that there is something dangerous in the body that needs to be quickly expelled, and thus, it can be a symptom of serious complications. Also, in cases of prolonged vomiting, the body can become seriously dehydrated and malnourished. A physician can address underlying problems before the situation becomes too drastic.

Severe Allergies or Asthma

Especially in the case of children, severe allergies or asthma can be the sign of something far more dangerous. Although asthma or allergy problems aren’t uncommon, if they seem more severe than usual, it may be a sign that the body is masking a serious viral infection. It may be difficult to tell the difference between severe allergies, asthma, or an acute infection, but a professional will be able to assess the underlying causes of the symptoms.

“At-Risk” Candidates

Certain conditions may predispose individuals to be more susceptible to certain serious complications. If a loved one is in one of those categories, even seemingly innocuous symptoms like a persistent cough can be the sign of something particularly life-threatening. Therefore, people in these categories may find it safe to visit the doctor more often. This includes those who smoke regularly as well as those with compromised immune systems, whether from age or a condition that compromises one’s immunity. In these cases, it’s safe to err on the side of caution and visit a physician on a regular basis.

Symptoms Lasting Longer Than Seven Days

As a general rule of thumb, if any symptom persists for more than a week, it’s time to have it examined. This can include obvious indicators like a fever as well as more subtle problems like a dull chest pain or back ache. If the body shows the same symptoms for such a long time, it shows that it’s having difficulty fighting them. Medical intervention may speed the healing process.

In general, it’s best to be cautious and self-aware when dealing with potentially harmful medical problems. Any of these five indicators are a good sign that it’s time to schedule an appointment with a physician.