Talking With Your Doctor
In This Section:
Describe your symptoms
It's important to explain what your asthma symptoms are ("wheezy feeling in my chest") as well as how these symptoms make you feel ("I just can't catch my breath"). Your doctor will also want to know when and where your asthma symptoms occur most. Do they happen during a certain time of day? Do they happen in any particular room?
Your doctor will need information from you about your or your child’s asthma symptoms.
Know your family history
Tell your doctor about your family members. Does anyone else have asthma? Allergies? Eczema (red, swollen, and itchy skin)? A family history of these conditions can mean an increased risk for asthma.
Your doctor will look for swollen nasal passages and listen to your breathing — paying special attention to sounds of asthma, like wheezing or coughing. Keep your appointment, even if you don't have symptoms on the day of your doctor visit, because your doctor can still listen to your lungs and examine your nasal passages.
Your doctor may order other tests if he or she needs more information to make an asthma diagnosis.
When you have a chronic condition like asthma, it’s important for your doctor to know how you’re doing between visits. So, whether you’re at the doctor for yourself, or with your child who has asthma, use the information below to help remind you of the issues you would like to discuss.
You can download a copy of this guide from the PULMICORT FLEXHALER desktop site. Click here to email yourself a link to the site.
- Review the asthma symptom tracker so you can report your or your child’s asthma symptoms to the doctor.
- Take time to think about what issues or questions are most important to you, and plan to talk about those first.
- If you or your child are having a specific health problem, or you would like to learn more about other treatments or medicines, find out all you can before the visit. It will help you get the answers to your specific questions.
- Prepare your answers to some of the common topics your doctor may want to talk about: breathing symptoms, response to treatment, what you may know about your or your child’s triggers, etc.
Prepare a list of questions or concerns you want to talk about. Here is a list to get you started.
- Should I be concerned about my or my child’s symptoms?
- Should I watch for any particular asthma symptoms?
- What triggers should I avoid or help my child avoid?
- What kind of changes do I need to make to my home and/or to my child’s school/day care environment?
- Should I or my child be taking an inhaled steroid controller medicine?
- What are the benefits of a controller medicine and how long will I or my child need it?
- How soon should my or my child’s asthma symptoms improve?
- How often should I take my medicine or give my child his/her medicine?
- Let the doctor know what is and isn’t working with your or your child’s breathing treatment plan.
- Discuss any medication concerns you have with the doctor (side effects, advice from family and friends, etc.)
Make sure you understand all of your doctor’s answers and explanations! Keep asking questions of the doctor or staff until you do. Here are some additional tips for making sure you get all you need from your time with the doctor.
- Take notes if it will help you understand or remember
- Ask the doctor for printed handouts or written instructions
- Review your notes and any written information you were given. If you have any questions, call the doctor’s office and get answers. Make sure you understand exactly what you are supposed to do. Your pharmacist can also answer questions you have about medications
- Continue to talk with the doctor as new issues come up, or if you or your child develops new asthma symptoms
- If you feel too rushed during a regular office visit or phone call to get all the answers you need, think about making an appointment with the doctor just to discuss your concerns. Or, ask if he or she can call you back at the end of office hours
The information above is for reference only and should not to be used in place of a consultation with a physician.