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September 20, 2023

Four Conditions You Didn’t Know Could Be Treated With a Virtual Visit

Four Conditions You Didn’t Know Could Be Treated With a Virtual Visit

Virtual visits and telehealth options have emerged in recent years as a convenient and effective way to seek care for a wide range of conditions.

While you may be familiar with using virtual care options for issues like colds and rashes, you might be surprised to learn there are several other conditions that can be treated with a virtual visit. Let’s investigate a few of them.

1. Viral and Bacterial Infections

In the past, facing a viral or bacterial infection might have prompted a trip to a physical urgent care clinic or your primary care provider. With the advancement of telemedicine, many common infections can now be evaluated and treated with a virtual visit.

Whether it's a sinus infection, strep throat, or even a suspected case of COVID-19, providers can assess your symptoms, guide you on self-care, prescribe medications if needed, and recommend when an in-person examination becomes essential.

During your virtual visit, be prepared to provide detailed information about your symptoms and their onset. Depending on the specific infection, the provider might request and order additional labs or tests to correctly diagnose and treat your illness.

When it comes to antibiotics, it's crucial to understand their proper usage and potential risks. Antibiotics do not work against viral infections, such as the common cold or flu. If antibiotics are taken when they aren't needed, resistance to them can develop. Using antibiotics responsibly keeps their effectiveness when needed later.

2. Allergies

Seasonal allergies can be problematic, causing a runny nose, congestion, sneezing and itchy eyes. While they might not seem serious, they can significantly impact your quality of life. In many cases with allergies, they can be managed effectively with virtual visits. A provider can discuss your symptoms, recommend over-the-counter treatments, suggest environmental modifications, and advise when a prescription might be the right treatment plan.

Allergies often have characteristic symptoms that can be described and discussed without the need for a physical examination. Be prepared to discuss the duration and pattern of your symptoms, triggers that worsen them, and any previous treatments you’ve tried. Images of any visible symptoms, such as skin reactions, can also aid in diagnosis.

3. Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Many cases of UTIs can be managed through a virtual visit. A provider can discuss your symptoms, review your medical history, and prescribe antibiotics if necessary.

UTIs often have classic symptoms like frequent urination, a burning sensation, and cloudy urine, which can be easily discussed in a virtual consult. If you experience severe pain, blood in your urine, fever, or if you are pregnant, an in-person evaluation may be recommended to rule out complications. You’ll likely be asked about your symptoms, any history of UTIs, and your general health. A urine sample might be requested to confirm the diagnosis before prescribing antibiotics.

4. Skin Issues

Skin problems like acne, rashes, or minor infections can often be evaluated in a virtual setting. A provider can assess the visual appearance of the issue, discuss your symptoms, and recommend topical treatments or other interventions.

Be prepared to provide a clear description of the skin issue, its location, and any associated symptoms. High-quality images or videos of the affected area will aid in diagnosis. If a skin problem is rapidly worsening, causing extreme pain, or if you suspect it might be related to an underlying health condition, an in-person evaluation might be more appropriate.

While virtual visits have their limits, they offer a practical and efficient solution for treating a surprisingly broad range of conditions without having to leave home. You can get in touch with a highly skilled provider when you need it most.

Remember that virtual visits are not a one-size-fits-all solution―in some cases additional labs or tests may be required to properly diagnose the condition and create the right treatment plan. For more complex or severe cases, in-person care remains crucial. Always consult with a provider to determine the most appropriate course of action for your specific situation.

IU Health On-Demand Virtual Visits are available 24/7 for anyone over the age of 2 in Indiana. Visit to learn more or to start a virtual visit.

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