Symptoms you should not ignore

You may have been raised with a ‘power on’ mentality, taught to push through pain and ignore certain symptoms. But there are some warning signs you should never ignore.

Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath may indicate that you are having a pulmonary embolism or a heart attack. If you suddenly experience a shortness of breath, or it interferes with daily tasks, ask someone to drive you to the emergency room. Do not drive yourself. If it is severe or is accompanied by chest pain or nausea, call an ambulance.

High fever
For an adult, having a temperature between 37° and 39° is considered a mild fever. A high fever ranges from 39° to 42°. If you have a high fever you should seek medical attention. Having a temperature of 42.4° or higher is considered very dangerous and can cause serious, long-lasting damage.

Trouble speaking
If you are feeling confused or are having trouble speaking, you may be having a stroke. Other symptoms include drooping of the face, an inability to raise both arms, dizziness, loss of balance, disrupted or loss of vision, weakness, numbness or severe headache. These symptoms may occur alone or in combination. A stroke is a medical emergency. Contact 000 at the first signs of a stroke.

Chest pain
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should call triple zero.

  • severe chest pain, or pain that lasts for longer than 10 minutes
  • if you experience pain in your jaw or down your left arm
  • nausea, dizziness or a cold sweat
  • if your chest feels tight, heavy or crushing.

While there are a number of relatively harmless causes for vomiting, if it is accompanied by a high fever or lasts more than a day you should see your doctor. If you experience it alongside abdominal pain, fast heart rate and breathing, confusion, or there is blood in your vomit, you should seek medical attention.

Changes in sight
If you suddenly have blurry or double vision, or lose sight altogether, call an ambulance. It may be accompanied by numbness, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache or trouble speaking. It may be a sign of a detached retina, optic neuritis, eye herpes or the development of a macular hole. Some eye conditions can cause permanent blindness or vision problems, so it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

Testicular swelling
Pain or swelling in the testicles may be a symptom of a more serious problem. While some inflammation or discomfort may be caused by an infection or an injury, seek medical advice if pain and swelling have not gone away an hour after an injury. If you experience fever, nausea, vomiting, severe pain or are able to feel a lump in your testicles, seek immediate medical attention.

Stomach pain
Stomach pain is one of the most common reasons for emergency room visits. It may be difficult to decide whether to see your GP or head straight to the medical room, but if you experience sudden or intense stomach pain that lasts longer than 30 minutes you should seek immediate medical attention.

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Written by Liv Gardiner

Writer and editor with interests in travel, lifestyle, health, wellbeing, astrology and the enivornment.

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