The number of Americans who are turning to the Internet for health information is increasing. 85% of adults 56-64 years old have sought out health information online and 59% of those 74 years or older have done the same.
These sites can provide a wealth of information that can help you and your doctors have a better discussion about your health. Sites such as RxList.com can help you learn about prescription drug interactions, side effects and more. WebMD.com allows you to enter in symptoms and receive information on possible diagnoses. Healthgrade.com rates doctors and hospitals across the nation using a wide range of measures so you can find the best medical professionals for your particular needs.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of these sites is that they stop the “you don’t know what you don’t know” situation that often occurs with patients. When you are educated about your health you are able to know what questions to ask your health care providers. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, those with chronic diseases are now using the Internet to gain additional information about their disease.
Check out this article from Mashable about the top five ways the Internet can help your health.
As much as these sites can help, please note that not all health sites are created equal and that there can be a lot of misinformation on the Internet. The sites listed above were chosen for their strong reputations but it is always important to talk to your doctor before making any changes to your medical regimen.
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