Everyone who has had struggles with chest-related or respiratory tract illnesses understands the vitality of being in touch with their pulmonologist. Communicating efficiently with your doctor gets easier as you move further but your first experience might not feel as natural as you would want, especially if you are unprepared for the occasion.
Who is a pulmonologist?
A Pulmonologist is a doctor who specializes in lungs and handling the various diseases that affect the chest and respiratory organs. Sometimes, pulmonologists are mistaken for cardiologists (Medical health experts on the heart) because of how closely related the organs they deal with are on the body.
In fact, if you struggle with health challenges like pulmonary hypertension, then you will need the services of both a pulmonologist and a cardiologist. A pulmonologist uses diverse procedures ranging from bloodwork, CT scans, chest X-rays, spirometry, sleep studies, and bronchoscopies to make an accurate diagnosis, create treatment plans and monitor your progress.
Since lung diseases usually require long-term care, pulmonologists are trained to be able to make changes and adapt to your treatment plans, and work with other specialists while using therapies, medications, and pulmonary rehabilitation to help you get better.
Who needs a pulmonologist?
Since Pulmonologists focus on chest and lung-related diseases, it means that anyone who struggles with ailments that affect that particular region of the body would need the services of a pulmonologist. However, a simple cough is not a valid reason to seek out a pulmonologist. That can be handled by a primary care doctor.
Pulmonologists are tasked with dealing with more serious and demanding lung challenges. If the cough begins to persist for over three weeks and more, then you should be concerned about seeing one. The cough is an indication of something much bigger.
Also, people who experience symptoms ranging from wheezing, shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue to diseases like asthma, pneumonia, and constructive obstructive pulmonary disease should ensure that they reach out to a pulmonologist as early as possible.
Meeting a pulmonologist for the first time
Seeing your doctor for the first time can be a tricky experience. To ensure you have a great and profitable experience, you need to be prepared for it. The best way to begin is to familiarize yourself and get as much information as possible about your condition.
That way, it becomes easier to understand certain medical terms used, and why your doctor says and does what he does. Next, you need to bring as much medical information as possible along with your reasons for seeking consultation.
Everything from your medical history, spirometry results, full pulmonary function test results, and even medications used in the past should be brought along. Doing so makes it easier for the pulmonary doctor to better understand your condition and provide insightful diagnosis and medications.
It is advisable that you go with a family member or close friend that can be trusted just in case you feel overwhelmed or need to take notes. Asking the right questions when you are in consultation with a pulmonologist places you in a great position to better relate with your doctor and understand your condition.
Here are 8 simple and eye-opening questions you should ask your doctor when seeing him for the first time.
1. Can you tell me what tests you will be performing?
A question like this makes the doctor explain the reasons for the tests you will be undergoing and what the information from the results will help him/her achieve. It also helps you prepare mentally and psychologically for them.
2. What is responsible for the symptoms I am experiencing?
Such a question makes it easier for you to understand the possible causes of your condition and why you are experiencing them.
3. What is your diagnosis?
Like the above, this question unravels the cause of your conditions.
4. What medications are you prescribing and how should they be used?
A question this sensitive allows your doctor to provide you with the necessary treatment, drugs for your condition, and the doses for their use.
5. Are there any possible side effects of using the medications?
This is another question you should ask. Based on your medical history, this question will help you avoid and manage possible side effects. If the side effects are too severe or dangerous, your doctor might need to change them.
6. How can I manage my condition?
The answers for this question will provide you with everything from natural methods and tips that you can implement to improve the state of your condition.
7. What should I do if my condition worsens?
Knowing what to do when your condition worsens is vital and can make a huge difference. A question like this does more good to you than harm.
8. When is my next appointment?
Being aware of your next appointment date will help you prepare better for it. You will be able to exchange feedback on the effectiveness of your drugs and how much progress you have made.
Understanding and being able to relate with your pulmonologist is extremely vital and can help enhance your relationship with them. If you would like to meet an excellent pulmonologist or a health care center that offers quality medical services, please contact us immediately.