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Eyes you can’t trust

[By McLawrence Phiri]

According to the World Health Organisation, health is defined as “a state of complete physical, mental psychological and social well-being and not only the absence of disease or infirmity”.

These four aspects are highly inter linked in that how the functioning of systems occurs, to an extent depends on each of them. A disease on the other hand is a state of someone not being “at easy” or not okay (dis-ease).

This brings a lot of facts to consideration. When one is not okay or is sick, many aspects are affected including the level of reasoning, and obviously judgement is impaired also. Very often individuals who exhibit symptoms of a particular disease have a temptation of wanting to diagnose themselves by googling the symptoms, refer to those in one’s past experience or theirs. This can be dangerous and costly at the same time. People have different medical histories; hence they respond differently to sickness. And often Google search engines misinterpret information and bring terms that people don’t understand.

Out of 10 cases of self-diagnosis, more than eight end up as wrong diagnosis. This can lead to high stress levels by making people believe they have a disease which they actually don’t have, e.g one may be coughing and think it’s a mare cough yet it’s heart failure. One may think it’s gases yet it’s irritable bowel syndrome; one may think it’s ordinary diarrhea yet it’s tuberculosis.

So, because they misdiagnose, they end up taking wrong medicines or choose not to take anything, thinking that the sickness is only minor. 30 per cent of self-diagnosed cases have been reported as under dose, 35 per cent as over dose and 25 per cent have been reported as diseases caused due to drug interaction.

It’s important to always have experts check on you when you are sick because they have special eyes compared to ordinary ones. And before they apply professional knowledge and skills, they will access many issues such as your history, lifestyle, environment, family and many others.

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