Do You Rely on the Internet for Medical Advice?

Stethoscope on a computer keyboard

Many people in Oklahoma browse the Internet when they want answers to their medical concerns, instead of seeking professional help, according to a survey.

The Tinker Law Firm surveyed 3,000 people in Oklahoma and found that 35.7% of them routinely rely on online resources for health issues. While the Internet can be a good source of information, it can be risky to depend solely on it for medical advice, especially for critical conditions.

Healthcare Experts

Aside from inaccurate information, the habit of consulting the Internet for healthcare advice can cause a form of anxiety called “cyberchondria.” This occurs when you find symptoms of a serious illness that are similar to your condition. For instance, red spots on your nose or chin could just mean that you have acne. However, you may encounter some information about skin cancer that also lists red spots as one of its common symptoms.

If you live in Oklahoma City or in Putnam, a family medical center or clinic can be a good choice to find a physician that can answer your concerns. Any attempt of self-diagnosis will only exacerbate your problem by causing unnecessary anxiety.

Why Googling is Bad

Websites such as WebMD, Mayo Clinic, and Everyday Health are not inherently bad since these provide users with basic knowledge about many different types of illnesses. It only becomes detrimental when you already consider the information to be as good as a doctor’s opinion.

Cyberchondria increasingly becomes more common due to the availability of online information. Despite being more prevalent, you can stop your self-inflicted anxiety by only consulting with a doctor.

Conclusion

A quick online search for your symptoms may be a good thing only if you visit the doctor, right after doing your research. Otherwise, you are just setting up yourself to worry whether or not the symptoms you have could be a sign of a serious illness.