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Don’t Google your symptoms

Don't Google Your Symptoms

Don’t Google your symptoms

How many times have you been unwell and decided to Google your symptoms online?

According to a report by DDB, instead of consulting a doctor 75% of the population uses google to diagnose symptoms; however, there’s a big problem with this sort of practice. Not all results are credible, which can make matters more complicated by causing panic for no real reason. While the Internet is great for several types of research, replacing a professional diagnosis isn’t one of them. On the internet anyone can be a doctor and most cures you’ll find online will only make things worse.

Cyberchondria is becoming a growing problem as bored patients take a break from blowing their noses to find out what Dr. Google has to say. When you Google your symptoms, search engines do their best to pair results that match the search terms used. But search engines do not factor in credence. Your search results may turn up a reputable medical site that provides valuable information. But it can also turn up a Wikipedia article (which can be edited by any internet user), an open forum or someone’s personal blog. These sources may be entirely inaccurate and (more likely than not) aren’t being published by a medical professional with the credentials or experience to offer advice on the topic.

If you have health concerns, talk to a medical professional—don’t rely on the Internet. If you find exaggerated information about your condition, it could cause unnecessary anxiety. If you find information that downplays your condition, you might fail to give it the attention it requires, which could result in a more serious situation.

Sure, it’s quicker than going to the doctor but it’s not what you’d call an exact science. Or a science, for that matter. You might possibly find out what’s wrong with you but there’s more chance of the internet telling you that you’ve a rare and incurable disease.