Urgent care clinics are often a go-to destination for people with minor health conditions that don't require a trip to the emergency room. These clinics offer walk-in service and typically have shorter wait times than the ER.
Here is a list of the two most common conditions that can be treated at an urgent care clinic.
Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are among the most common conditions seen at urgent care clinics. These infections occur when bacteria enter the urinary system through the urethra and begin to multiply in the bladder.
UTIs can cause symptoms like pelvic pain, burning during urination, and cloudy urine. You might also feel the need to urinate frequently, even if there is little urine produced.
If left untreated, a UTI can lead to a kidney infection. You also stand the risk of developing a bladder infection, which can be painful and cause difficulty urinating.
A UTI can be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor will likely prescribe a course of oral antibiotics that you'll need to take for a few days. You might also be given a single dose of antibiotics if your UTI is mild.
Sometimes, your doctor might suggest you drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to help flush out your system.
Respiratory infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, are common among patients who visit urgent care clinics. These infections are caused by viruses or bacteria and can lead to inflammation in the lungs.
Respiratory infection symptoms include coughing, difficulty breathing, chest pain, and a fever. You might also experience body aches, chills, and fatigue.
However, some respiratory conditions will present a unique set of symptoms. For example, pneumonia might cause a sharp chest pain that worsens when you breathe deeply or cough. So, it's always best to consult a medical professional if you're unsure about your symptoms.
If you have a fever that lasts for several days or your coughing worsens, it might be time to visit an urgent care clinic. Treatment will vary depending on the cause of your infection.
In some cases, you might need a chest x-ray to rule out things like pneumonia. Your doctor will also likely prescribe a round of antibiotics to clear the infection.
However, some viral respiratory infections will need to run their course and clear up on their own. But your physician can still prescribe certain medications to help manage the symptoms.