As medicine designed to fight bacterial infections, antibiotics are literal life-savers. However, in response, bacteria are changing to become more resistant to antibiotics. This resistance can mean no more effective treatment for certain diseases, and according to the CDC, “antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest public health challenges of our time.”
There are at least 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions per year. So what can you, a patient, do to help fight antibiotic resistance?
Know which illnesses require antibiotics and which illnesses don’t.
Understanding the difference between viral infections and bacterial infections is a good place to start. They are very different causes of disease, and antibiotics only work on bacteria, not viruses.
Conditions that may require antibiotics include:
- Some ear infections, such as Streptococcus pneumonia
- Bacterial sinus infections
- Some cases of pink eye
- Urinary tract infections, which are usually caused by bacteria
Conditions that likely don’t require antibiotics include:
- The common cold
Protect yourself against infections.
Simple preventive measures can help you avoid getting infected by antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the first place. These measures include:
- Washing your hands, especially after interacting with animals
- Kindly reminding health-care providers to wash their hands before interacting with you
- Getting vaccinated
- Practising safer sex
- Applying good food safety habits
You should also learn how to stay healthy while traveling. Traveler’s diarrhea is a common bacterial infection among tourists. If recommended by your doctor, buy rifaximin beforehand at True Canada Pharmacyso your trip doesn’t get ruined!
Work with your doctor.
Knowing that 47 million unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions happen each year may make you wary of your doctor’s advice. But sometimes, antibiotics can save lives, so don’t dismiss your doctor’s advice right away if they prescribe antibiotics.
What you should do is take an active role in your care. This means working with your doctor as a team. The more information you provide and the more questions you ask, the easier it is for your doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. Remember, your doctor is not you! They won’t know you have a certain symptom unless you tell them.
Do not be afraid to bring up concerns and doubts with your health-care provider. If you find that they are always in a rush or are consistently dismissive of your concerns, it may be time to find an alternative health-care provider.
Finally, arm yourself with knowledge. Sometimes, families of similar diseases, such as meningitis, can be caused by either viruses or bacteria. Learn to recognize the differences, if any.
DISCLAIMER: The content in this article is intended for informational purposes only. This website does not provide medical advice. In all circumstances, you should always seek the advice of your physician and/or other qualified health professionals(s) for drug, medical condition, or treatment advice. The content provided on this website is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.