After you make an appointment for adult asthma treatment, there are some steps you can take to make your visit a smooth one:

  • Write down all your symptoms, even ones that don’t seem related to your concerns about asthma.
  • List all the medications you are taking—prescribed and over-the-counter—along with any vitamins or dietary supplements you take. Include dosages for each.
  • Be prepared to talk about when your asthma symptoms are most bothersome—for example, during certain times of the year, at night or when you’re exposed to the things that trigger your symptoms.
  • Note any recent life changes or major stress you’ve experienced recently.
  • Consider asking a friend or family member to go with you to see the doctor. He or she can help you remember what the doctor tells you.

Common Questions About Adult Asthma

You can print out the following lists of questions about adult asthma to take with you when you visit your doctor.

Questions to ask your doctor:

Before the diagnosis:

  • What do you think is causing my symptoms?
  • Are there other possible causes?
  • Will I need to have tests? If so, which ones?

If you’re diagnosed with asthma:

  • Do you recommend allergy testing to help identify the cause of my asthma symptoms?
  • What treatment do you recommend for me?
  • Are there other treatment options to consider?
  • What should I expect as a result of treatment? Will my symptoms go away?
  • Do I need to take medication? If so, what type? How does it work?
  • Is there a generic version of the medication you’re prescribing?
  • How often should I take it? How long will I need to take it?
  • Do I have to take it with food?
  • How will I know if it’s working?
  • What are the risks if I don’t take my medication as directed?
  • If I forget a dose, what should I do?
  • What side effects could occur?
  • Are there side effects that I should call you about?
  • Do I need to avoid any foods, beverages, dietary supplements or anything else while on this medication?
  • Will I need to use an asthma inhaler? Can you show me how it works? Should I make any changes in my lifestyle to help prevent asthma attacks?
  • Can I still take part in my favorite activities, despite having asthma?
  • Is exercise important? If so, how much, and what kind do you recommend?
  • I have additional health problems—what’s the best way to manage them together?
  • Should I see a specialist for additional information or care?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me?
  • What websites do you recommend visiting for more information?
  • Will you provide written instructions for my treatment?
  • Will you help me create an asthma action plan?
  • How can I tell if an asthma attack is coming on? What should I do if this happens?
  • When is an asthma attack an emergency, and what should I do then?

Questions your doctor may ask you:

To help make the diagnosis for adult asthma:

  • How long have you been having breathing problems?
  • Do your breathing problems affect your everyday life? If so, how?
  • What are your symptoms? For example, do you cough? Wheeze? Does your chest feel tight?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to bring on your symptoms?
  • Is there any activity that makes your symptoms worse?
  • Do your symptoms worsen during certain times of the year?
  • Do you get symptoms during the day or night, or both times?
  • Did you have asthma, hay fever, or eczema when you were a child?
  • Does anyone in your family have asthma, hay fever or eczema?
  • Are you taking aspirin, ibuprofen or a beta-blocker medication? If so, does it make your symptoms worse?
  • Do you have any pets?
  • Do you smoke or breathe secondhand smoke?
  • What is your job?
  • Could anything in your workplace be causing your symptoms?

If you’re diagnosed with asthma:

  • Do you understand your asthma action plan?
  • Do you feel sure you can follow it?
  • If not, what are your concerns?