Asthma Checklist: Questions to Ask Your Doctor
Asthma is a chronic disease of the respiratory system. Patients who have been diagnosed with this disease need to be in constant contact with the doctor and receive timely information about treatment and symptom management.
In order to better understand your condition, control symptoms and avoid life-threatening situations, it is important for an asthma patient to be informed. Scientifically proven and validated data are available on the websites of Trusted Tablets Online Pharmacy, US Asthma and Allergy Foundation, American Lung Association, and others. They will come in handy if your doctor cannot answer all the questions related to your diagnosis. Some questions should be answered by clinicians specializing in asthma and respiratory diseases. We also advise you to keep an asthma journal which can be used to record recommendations and features of the course of your disease, the frequency of symptoms and the effectiveness of the prescribed drugs.
Once diagnosed with asthma, the patient has many questions about how the disease will affect his or her health and later life. In order not to forget anything, print out our checklist and use it at your doctor’s appointment.
- Will I be able to continue doing what I love?
- Which treatment is best for me?
- Can asthma be cured?
- How do the symptoms and disease course change with age? Can I overgrow asthma?
- How can asthma affect my health and quality of life in the long term?
- What will happen as a result of the prescribed treatment? Will my symptoms go away?
Questions to ask about treatment
Your doctor may prescribe medications to relieve asthma symptoms and reduce the risk of attacks. Common treatments for asthma include fast-acting bronchodilators (inhalers) that contain albuterol; combinatorial inhalers containing albuterol and ipratropium; inhaled corticosteroids and corticosteroids in tablet form, which reduce inflammation; nebulizers that contain the same medicines as inhalers.
Ask your doctor:
- Do I need medication?
- What drug is prescribed and how does it work?
- How often and for how long should the prescribed drug be taken?
- Should the medicine be taken continuously or as needed?
- Should the medicine be taken on an empty stomach or on a full stomach?
- Where can I get more information about the prescribed drug?
- How was the drug tested? Is there any data from clinical studies of its effectiveness?
- How will I feel while taking the medicine and how do I know it is working?
- When to expect an improvement in well-being?
- How do inhalers work and when should they be used?
- What are the risks if I do not take my medicines as prescribed or accidentally miss a dose?
- What to do if I get side effects? When is it necessary to urgently call a doctor? For what reason should the drug be stopped ur-gently?
- Can a prescribed asthma medication interact with other medicines I am taking?
- Are there any foods, beverages (such as alcohol), vitamins, herbal supplements, or over-the-counter drugs that I should avoid while taking this medication?
- What other conditions can affect the effectiveness of the prescribed drug?
- If I have a family history of heart disease, could it have any impact on asthma treatment?
Questions about additional (alternative) treatments
There are some alternative methods of asthma treatment. Nevertheless, it is better to ask your doctor questions, rather than search for answers on the Internet.
- Are there any complementary or alternative treatments for asthma?
- Can acupuncture relieve my condition?
- Chiropractors or massage are effective for asthma?
- Are there any clinical trials or studies on complementary or alternative treatments?
- Do you recommend herbs or other natural supplements?
Questions about emotional health
Asthma affects more than just the lungs and respiratory system. This disease is associated with stress, anxiety and can negatively affect the patient’s emotional health, periodically causing anger or depression. Ask your doctor to help you manage emotional distress associated with symptoms and treatment. Find out how you can improve your quality of life.
- Are there support groups for asthma patients?
- What if an asthma attack is accompanied by a panic attack?
- Can stress trigger an asthma attack?
- What is the best way to tell about your experiences in the family and at work so that they understand me, and I do not feel emotional stress and do not irritate relatives and colleagues?
Questions about lifestyle and general health
A healthy lifestyle – exercising, eating well, getting adequate rest and sleep, and avoiding bad habits – can all help improve your overall health and, therefore, can ease the onset of a serious illness such as asthma.
- How can you make lifestyle changes to better manage your symptoms and reduce your risk of an attack?
- How can I control my symptoms so they don’t interfere with doing what I love?
- How can asthma affect pregnancy and vice versa?
- Do I need to change my diet or exercise regimen?
- Can yoga help reduce asthma symptoms?
- Can alcohol and smoking affect my condition?
- Can a pet increase symptoms or seizure frequency?
- Does my insurance cover the costs of my asthma treatment?
- How much do the prescribed medications cost?
- Are there more affordable medicines? Generics? Are they effective?