Flu Symptoms: When to See a Doctor

February 15, 2018
flu doctor

In most instances, the flu results in a relatively mild illness that requires no medical intervention. In some cases, however, the flu can lead to serious complications, requiring hospitalization. If you're wondering whether your flu symptoms are severe enough to warrant a trip to the doctor, here's what you should know.
Typical Flu Symptoms
When they get the flu, most people will experience a range of unpleasant symptoms, including:

  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Fever greater than 100 F

Sometimes, the flu can also cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting; however, this is usually more common in children.
Potential Signs of a Problem
While not common, the flu can sometimes lead to serious complications that result in hospitalization or even death. If you or a family member experience breathing difficulties, wheezing, chest pain, stiff neck, severe headache, confusion, loss of consciousness or a fever over 105 F, it's important to seek emergency medical care. You should also make a doctor's appointment or visit your local PhysicionOne Urgent Care under the following circumstances:

  • Your fever lasts more than three days
  • You experience localized pain in the throat, ear or sinuses
  • Symptoms persist for longer than seven days
  • Symptoms become more severe over time
  • Your child is three months or younger and has a fever over 100.4 F

Since the flu can worsen existing health problems, it's important to visit the doctor if you believe you have the flu and also suffer from asthma, heart disease, neuromuscular disease, emphysema, diabetes, kidney, liver or blood disease. You should also see your doctor if you are 65 years old or older, pregnant, or have other high-risk factors.

Son kissing mother
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for the attention you gave me last week. My son was started on antibiotics and ear drops. Within 24 hours he began to feel better. The poor kid had been going to school in tears because he was afraid of missing any more days, but feeling (and looking) just awful! He's not been able to even think about lacrosse practice, but thanks to starting him on antibiotics, he was thrilled to return to practice today.
Somers, NY
  • 5.0
  • 4.6