Got Asthma? Ask Your Doctor These Questions
(BlackDoctor.org) — While the doctor usually asks the questions during an exam, you can respectfully and proactively take charge, too. In fact, asking the right questions can make a big difference in the way you manage your asthma. Your health is important both to you and to your doctor, so don’t hesitate to inquire about any topic you feel is relevant to your condition, whether it’s a question about your asthma diagnosis, something regarding your asthma medication, curiosity about complementary or alternative therapies for asthma, or concern about your emotional health, your financial health, or any other lifestyle matter.
Engaging in a dialogue with your doctor will help educate you about asthma and the asthma treatment options available to you, and it’ll give your doctor a better sense of who you are and how asthma is affecting your health and your life. With the lines of communication open, you and your doctor will be able to develop the best treatment plan for your individual needs.
But remember, your time with your doctor is limited, so be sure to arrive at your appointment prepared and ready to discuss asthma and the questions that are important to you. Start by:
Researching asthma. It’s a good idea to get a better understanding of asthma before your appointment. Through research, you may even be able to answer some of your own questions. Visit Everyday Health’s Asthma Center, Revolution Health’s Asthma Center, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the American Lung Association, and MedlinePlus.
Strategizing. Your family doctor may not be able to answer all your questions about asthma; some may be better addressed by a clinician who specializes in treating people with asthma. Discuss this with your doctor, make a plan for addressing your concerns, and follow up with a visit to a specialist, as directed by your doctor. You can also do additional research of your own.
Keeping records. Consider keeping a journal about your asthma between visits to the doctor, and share any relevant information with your doctor, such as frequency of symptoms and how well your medications are working. Additionally, taking notes during your appointments will help you remember important details after your visit. Alternatively, you may consider bringing a recording device or inviting someone to accompany you and take notes.