Having made your appointment with a healthcare provider, there are certain steps you need to take in order to maximize the benefit of your COPD doctor visit.

  • Because most pulmonary screening tests require the individual to inhale and exhale deeply, do not eat a heavy meal prior to the exam.
  • Refrain from smoking for 4-6 hours prior to the test.
  • You may be asked to pedal a machine or walk on a treadmill to test breathing, so wear comfortable shoes.
  • Let the physician know if you are or could be pregnant in case any x-rays are ordered.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About COPD

You'll probably have questions for your doctor about your condition. Review this list of common concerns about COPD before your doctor visit, or print it out to bring with you.

Questions About My Diagnosis

  • How do I know if I am going into respiratory failure?
  • What is my prognosis?
  • Does COPD affect my other vital organs?
  • I hear that carbon monoxide is breathed in for the lung capacity test. Is that harmful?
  • Can my symptoms be due to a different medical condition?

Questions About My Treatment

  • What medication will I be prescribed for my condition? What are the side effects of the drugs?
  • Will I need to carry an oxygen tank?
  • Will an inhaler and nebulizer help me?
  • Do I need special treatments at night? Do I need special training for my treatments? Where will they be done?
  • Would I be a candidate for a lung transplant?
  • Is there a clinical trial that has newer treatments that I can participate in?

Questions About My Lifestyle and Family

  • Is this condition hereditary? Are there special screening tests that my children should have?
  • If I stop smoking, can the condition be reversed?
  • Can you help me to stop smoking with medication or other methods?
  • Would nicotine replacement therapy affect my condition?
  • Can I go out with a portable oxygen tank? What precautions should I take?
  • Can I sleep lying flat or do I need a special bed?
  • Is there a special diet that would improve my condition or make it worse?
  • Should I get the flu or pneumonia vaccines?
  • Are there support groups that I can attend to discuss Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease?