If you’re thinking about going to an urgent care center for an ear infection, think again. Slurred speech can be a sign of meningitis, which is why it’s critical to get checked out immediately. Meningitis is a dangerous condition that requires medical treatment in order to prevent further complications, including brain damage and death. If you’re experiencing slurred speech and head pain, go to your doctor as soon as possible rather than heading to urgent care.
If you’re having a stroke, it might be hard to recognize that something is wrong. Often, people with strokes report feeling as if they’ve had a bit too much to drink — maybe their speech becomes slurred, for example. Slurred speech, especially when accompanied by a sudden onset of one-sided weakness or numbness (or both), could be due to a stroke; call 911 and get medical attention immediately. If your symptoms are more subtle and you’re not sure whether to go to an urgent care center or seek medical attention at an emergency room, ask yourself these questions: Is your symptom sudden? Can it be potentially life-threatening? Is it worsening over time? Could it require immediate treatment?
Has there been a sudden change in your speech? Are you slurring, making up words, forgetting what you’re saying mid-sentence? Slurred speech is never a good sign and could be caused by anything from a brain tumor to an ear infection. If you experience these symptoms, don’t hesitate to call an ambulance immediately—you never know what could be causing them.
The first reason to go to an urgent care center is if you can’t understand what a person is saying because of slurred speech. These symptoms may mean a stroke. The sooner you are treated, the better chance you have at avoiding serious damage to your brain, which could result in an impaired ability to communicate. Go to your closest urgent care facility right away if you feel like something isn’t right with your speech; however, if symptoms only last for less than 24 hours, it’s probably nothing serious and can be treated at home.