Questions Your Doctor May Ask

Before you go to the doctor it may be helpful to think about the details of the symptoms you are having. Often, the more information you provide your doctor the easier it will be to make a correct diagnosis.

Here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself so you are more prepared to talk about them during your next doctor appointment. Symptoms include:

 

Chronic Cough

  • How long have you had the cough?
  • Did your cough start with an illness or a lung infection?
  • Do you cough all of the time, or only during or after activity?
  • Do you cough after meals?
  • What time of the day is your cough the worst?
  • Do you cough up mucus? If so, what color is the mucus? Is it thick and viscous, or is it thin and runny? How much mucus do you cough up?
  • Do you have chest discomfort with your cough?
  • Do you experience wheezing with your cough?
  • Have you had a fever recently?
  • Have you lost weight recently?
  • Do you ever have night sweats?

 

Shortness of Breath

  • Do you feel you have to work hard to breathe?
  • For how long have you been feeling short of breath, having difficulty taking a deep, satisfying breath, feeling winded, or working hard to breathe?
  • How often do you feel short of breath?
  • Are you short of breath all of the time, or only during or after activity?
  • Do you limit the kinds of activities you do because of shortness of breath?
  • Do you also have a cough?
  • Do you experience wheezing with your shortness of breath?
  • Do you experience any chest pain?
  • Have you had a fever recently?
  • Have you lost weight recently?
  • Do you ever have night sweats?
  • Do you feel 'tightness' more in your throat, or in your lungs?

 

Wheezing

  • For how long have you been experiencing wheezing?
  • Are there certain seasons or times of the year that you wheeze more than others?
  • During what part of the day do you typically wheeze?
  • Is it worse at certain times than at others?
  • Do you also cough?
  • Do you also feel short of breath when you wheeze?
  • Do you ever feel like you're choking?
  • Do you feel any nasal discharge in the back of your throat (post-nasal drip)?
  • If so, is the discharge thick and viscous, or thin and slimy? What color is the discharge? How much mucus are you producing?
  • Do you ever experience a gagging, or choking sensation?
  • Do you feel like you have to clear your throat all of the time?
  • Have you had a fever recently?
  • Have you lost weight recently?
  • Do you ever have night sweats?

Note: A chronic cough, shortness of breath, or wheezing can be symptoms of serious medical conditions. If you experience any of these symptoms, we recommend that you see a doctor.

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