Before you meet your physician for consultation, do your homework by gathering and preparing information relevant to your asthma condition. This step will allow you to understand your asthma better and be ready with all the relevant questions/answers that you might want to ask/reply your physician. Note that a productive interactive session with your physician is not only necessary for him to diagnose your asthma accurately, but it is also crucial for your good compliance with treatment.
Note that your lack of such pre-consultation planning could be an important barrier to your full treatment benefits. By preparing careful notes on your asthma condition and proper planning you can optimally utilize limited consultation time you have with your physician and thereby take maximum benefit from it.
Please have the following information ready in advance for your consultation:
- What are your asthma symptoms and when these began?
- What makes your symptoms better or worse?
- Have you ever had other allergic diseases such as eczema, urticaria, allergic cold, or eye allergy?
- Did you have repeated bouts of ear infection or sinus infection?
- Did you have loss of smell or taste?
- How old were you when asthma started?
- Has it improved or deteriorated since then?
- What condition you started first with: episodes of wheezing and breathlessness (asthma), daily productive cough (bronchitis) or breathlessness on effort (emphysema)?
- Are you ever completely free of asthma symptoms?
- When is asthma more severe: around Winters/ Summers/Fall/ Diwali/ Holi?
- How many times per month, i) you wake up at night due to asthma? ii) you stay in bed? or iii) you call your physician?
- During asthma episode is there any difference between, i) indoors/ outdoors? ii) at home/school?
- How do asthma triggers such as exercise, cold air, and pollution affect you?
- Are you in contact with animals?
- Do you have any feathers in your bedroom?
- Can you tolerate aspirin?
- Do you smoke?
- Does any member in your family smoke?
- Have you ever been admitted to hospital for asthma?
- Do your parents, siblings or children have asthma, eczema, urticaria, allergic cold or eye allergy?
- What medications did you take to relieve asthma symptoms?
- How many weeks does your asthma spray last for?
- What are the reports of previous treatment or tests?
Learn from your physician
- When to use reliever medicine?
- When to discontinue preventive medicine?
- How to face the challenge of trigger exposure?
- What to do when you are exposed to asthma triggers?
- How to make adjustment of therapy with onset of warning signals?
- Which hospital/clinic to go in emergency? Who to contact?
Asthma is a chronic disease and every patient who suffers from it wishes to not only control the disease but also the recurrence of it. A physician can help you control your disease by prescribing you medications but its recurrence depends on you. If you take adequate care and precautions you will be able to control the recurrence of your asthma symptoms. On the other hand, carelessness can cause recurrence of the disease. These are essential aspects of your treatment and you need to tweak your lifestyle a little to get your asthma under good control. Be more compliant to your asthma treatment process, be very well informed about yourself and your lifestyle.