The Dangers of Diagnosing Online

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An ache, a pain, a sore throat.

Years ago those symptoms may have sent you to the doctor, but today, with so much information on the internet, it’s hard not to get online and self- diagnose.

Doctors warn that may not help.

“I went on a symptoms checker and put in dizziness, and at least 10 or 15 diagnosis came up, and many of these diagnosis were somewhere simply as an ear ache to severe as a heart attack,” said Dr. Sean Sue, Piedmont Healthcare.

In fact, a study out of Harvard University found when patients checked symptoms online for the average illness, about 66 percent of the time the first diagnosis was wrong.

However, the study also said in 80 percent of emergency situations, symptom checkers correctly advised the patient to seek immediate medical care.

“I think if someone self-diagnoses themselves they may stay home; and by the time they decide to come to the hospital it may be too late and they may suffer dire consequences,” said Dr. Sue.

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