Getting the Most Out of Your Doctor Visits

Regular care should be a part of your treatment plan. Don’t wait until you have problems to see a doctor.

If this is your first visit with a doctor:

  • Bring a copy of your medical records or a short note containing any of your health problems, when they occurred, and the doctor(s) name who took care of you most recently.
  • Take a list of all the medicines you are now using. Be sure to include over-the-counter medicines, herbs and supplements.
  • Ask your doctor if an asthma controller medicine is right for you.
  • Make a list of all the doctors you see and why you see them.
  • Make a list of the symptoms you are having and tell your doctor which ones bother you the most. Also, write down when they started and what you have done, if anything, to make them better.
  • Ask your doctor about exercise. Exercise is important for people with asthma. If you experience asthma symptoms, especially during or after exercise, that discourages you from participating in physical activity, tell your doctor. Work with your doctor to find an exercise plan that is right for you.

Make it a habit to start writing down the things you want to talk about with your doctor. Before your next visit, write down problems you are having or note any questions you want to ask about your medicines.

Successful Communication Skills

Your doctor will teach you how to use your medicines and help you learn to recognize signs of when your asthma is getting worse. Be sure you understand. If you don’t understand what your doctor is saying, ask questions until you do. Your doctor should tell you:

  • What medicines you should take.
  • When you should take them.
  • What your medications are supposed to do.
  • What the first signs of problems are so you can take action.
  • When to call your doctor for advice.
  • When to go to an emergency room.

If you have asthma, it is recommended that you work with your provider to develop an asthma action plan. This includes key information on your asthma medicines, triggers, symptoms and plans for an emergency.