Allergy/Asthma Questions to Ask Your Doctor

Medical Author: Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Remember:

  • Prepare ahead of time for the "routine" questions that doctors almost always ask (for example, location, duration, severity, time of onset, and possible initiating factors for your symptoms).
  • Prepare your own list of questions, in writing, for the doctor.
  • Bring a copy of old pertinent medical records, if you have been seen by allergy/asthma specialists in the past.
  • Bring a list of medications that you have tried in the past and those that you are currently using.

10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor:

  1. What is my diagnosis and how can I learn more about it?
  2. What areas of my body can be affected by my allergy condition? How will they be affected?
  3. What tests will you do to diagnose my allergy and/or asthma problem? How safe are these tests?
  4. What is the likely course of my problem? What is the long-term outlook?
  5. What are my treatment options? Do I take treatments regularly or as needed?
  6. What can I do on my own to improve my condition?
  7. I have certain special concerns (e.g. exercise, travel, work environment, certain foods, pets, pregnancy, surgery, alternative medicines, and relatives with serious outcomes with similar disease or medications). How do these issues relate to my situation?
  8. Regarding my medications, how much do I take and for how long? What does this medication do and when will I feel/know that they are working? What are the possible side effects of the medications and how should we monitor for them (e.g. laboratory testing, blood pressure reading)? Will these medications interact with the other medication that I am taking? What happens if I forget to take it?
  9. If my symptoms worsen, what should I do on my own? When should I call your office versus going to the emergency room? What should I do late at night?
  10. If you have asthma, ask your doctor to give you an Asthma Care Plan in writing.

MedicineNet Reminder: Establishing an accurate diagnosis is a key to proper treatments. You are the most important person in this diagnostic process. An accurate description to your doctor of the character, location, duration, and time of onset of your symptoms factors heavily in determining your diagnosis. You should also inform your doctor about vitamins, herbs, and all medications you are taking because these items may be causing some symptoms. For example, long-term use of certain vitamins and non-prescription medications may be the cause of your abnormal liver tests; magnesium-containing antacids and supplements may be causing your diarrhea; certain blood pressure pills can be the reason for your constipation.

Note: We recommend you use this page as a reference for your consultation with your doctor.


Last Editorial Review: 3/22/2012



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