Asthma: Doctor Visits

Asthma can take over your life if you let it, leading to hospital visits and missed work or school. An important part of keeping your asthma under control is to visit a doctor regularly for checkups. If you are having trouble controlling your condition, your doctor can refer you to an asthma specialist.

Even if you are feeling well and breathing easily, make and keep regular appointments with your doctor. If you are hospitalized or go to an emergency room, be sure to see your doctor within the next two days, even if you feel better.

What to Bring to Your Visit

Be prepared for your doctor visits by always bringing with you:

  • All of your medicines, including home remedies and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Your peak flow meter and use diary.
  • Your spacer.

If you come prepared, the doctor can check if you are using your medicines and peak flow meter correctly.

What Your Doctor Will Do

During a visit, you can expect your doctor to:

  • Provide you with an asthma action plan to use at home, or review a plan you already have.
  • Take a peak flow reading.
  • Ask you about any recent symptoms.
  • Discuss your personal triggers and how you can prevent asthma episodes.
  • Show you how to best control asthma at work or school.
  • Provide you with emergency contact information in case you experience asthma symptoms after their office is closed.

Talk to Your Doctor

You can get the most out of your visit by talking openly about your condition and asking your doctor about any concerns you may have.

Before you leave a visit, be sure to talk to your doctor about:

  • If asthma is interfering with your sleep, work, school, play or exercise.
  • How often you experience coughing, wheezing or similar symptoms, and how often those symptoms lead you to use your quick-relief inhaler.
  • If you recently had to go to an emergency room or be hospitalized.
  • Whether a peak flow meter or spacer would help you control your condition.
  • If your medicines are not working and your breathing worsens, what you should do.
  • How to use each of your medicines.

Also, if you need help with any other issue caused by your condition, including paying for health care, ask if you can speak with a social worker.

After Your Visit

To be sure you feel the benefits from a doctor’s visit:

  • Take all of your medicine exactly as the doctor said.
  • Get your prescriptions filled as soon as you can.
  • Do not stop taking your medicine unless the doctor said you could, even if you feel fine and are breathing well.

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