Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) damages your lungs. But in order to be well-informed and involved in your treatment, you need the support of a doctor that is friendly, patient, and willing to take the time to help you understand more about health and your disease. That's why it's so important to find a doctor that you can trust and communicate with openly. • What treatment should I have? Kidney stones - what to ask your doctor. Related video goes here for no-HTML5 browsers. Both COPD and lung cancer share smoking as a common risk factor, while the presence of COPD itself acts as an additional independent risk factor for lung cancer. Questions to ask your doctor about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) You must never be embarrassed to ask your doctor a question about your COPD. 1. If there is anything you don't quite understand, don't hesitate to ask your doctor for more examples and details. Read our, Medically reviewed by Douglas A. Nelson, MD, Medically reviewed by Benjamin F. Asher, MD, Verywell Health uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience and for our. Ask him to explain your test results, how exactly he made his diagnosis, and where you fit on the spectrum of COPD severity. Although smoking is by far the most common cause of COPD, many other things can cause the disease. These may include age, genetics, and occupational exposure to dust, fumes, and toxic chemicals. Having a lung transplant may improve your quality of life and allow you to perform more activities, but it has not been shown to increase 10-year survival rates in people with COPD. Unfortunately, a large number of people with COPD continue to smoke, even though it is devastating to their health. If you experience heartburn, acid reflux, weight gain, weight loss, or worsened shortness of breath after meals, you should bring these issues up with your doctor right away. An alarming number of COPD patients don't use their inhalers correctly, which is why it's so important to double-check your technique. This life-altering respiratory disease can carry complications and many different symptoms – so here are some of the most frequently asked questions about COPD. Before your doctor diagnoses your COPD, he will likely use a variety of tests, including spirometry (a basic lung function test), a chest X-ray, and pulse oximetry (a way to measure blood oxygen saturation). For instance, your lungs could be primarily affected by emphysema but also show signs of mild chronic bronchitis. If you are interested, your doctor can also connect you to resources in your local area or refer you to a quit-smoking therapist. The disease is progressive, meaning that it generally gets worse over time. When you first get diagnosed, your doctor will likely place your disease within one of four distinct stages. This can make it hard for you to get enough oxygen and clear carbon dioxide from your lungs. Many patients don’t know enough about management of asthma, warns Rita Cydulka, MD, residency director for the department of emergency medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. Many patients are able to overcome obstacles and get on the track to better physical fitness by working with a personal trainer, physical therapist, or joining a pulmonary rehabilitation class. Talk to your doctor about what you should do if you feel your COPD worsening, or you are having an exacerbation. Your healthcare provider will be more than willing to help you make your COPD journey more tolerable. For example, cardiovascular problems are some of the most common and serious COPD-related complications. Your doctor can also help you take a more active role in your treatment by teaching you to recognize symptoms that indicate your blood oxygen levels are low. Keep in mind that COPD has a variety of stages and treatments, so it is important to stay informed. • Does the patient have dyspnea with routine activity? We provide patient-friendly resources to help you better understand your condition. Am I taking my medications correctly? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatments (Beyond the Basics)," By Cassie Shortsleeve 3. How severe your COPD is depends on how badly your lungs are damaged and how serious your symptoms are. While it may be difficult at first, getting enough physical activity improves your overall health and may even improve your ability to breathe over time. That's why it's important to ask your doctor to explain the side effects of every medication he prescribes or recommends. A COPD diagnosis can leave you overwhelmed, but asking the right questions can help. Your medication list can also come in handy as a reference for yourself, your pharmacist, or other medical professionals you see. Kidney stones - what to ask your doctor. If you continue to smoke after your diagnosis, your lung function will decline more rapidly and the disease will progress much faster than if you were to quit completely. • How can you tell if I have COPD? Ask a Question Reviewed by Barry J. Here are some questions to ask your doctor during your visit. If you do use oxygen therapy, make sure your doctor takes the time to explain how to use it, when to use it, and how to get the dosage right. Life expectancy and years of life lost in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: findings from the NHANES III follow-up study. Obtain medical consultation if the condition is poorly controlled (as manifested by Communication between doctors and patients should never be one-way; it's just as important for you to communicate with your doctor as it is for him to explain information to you. COPD Guidelines Questions to Ask / Necessary Information • Does patient position affect breathing? COPD, also known as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, is an incurable yet treatable lung disease that affects systems in a patient’s body. When did your breathing symptoms first start? Current smokers with stage 1 COPD have an average life expectancy of 14 years. 6 Questions to Ask Your Doctor After a COPD Diagnosis ... we’ve consulted with top pulmonologists for the six most important questions to ask your physician about your diagnosis and care plan. What Is COPD? Interstitial lung disease, (ILD), or COPD are umbrella diagnosis's; whereas Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Pulmonary Fibrosis, Pulmonary Hypertension are specific. The questionnaire is only the first step in obtaining an accurate diagnosis and is not meant to replace specific medical advice from a qualified healthcare professional. 2012;12(4):1-50. Even if you've used an inhaler before, it's important to review the correct technique and make sure you know how to use your particular type of inhaled medication. COPD in a nutshell – 10 questions and answers about COPD Facts | 10/29/2020 Tightness in the chest, wheezing and a persistent cough can be signs of COPD, which is a chronic lung disease. You should also tell your doctor all about your lifestyle and home environment so he can help you identify any activities or conditions in your life that might trigger your symptoms. But in order to get the right answers and the information you need, you first have to know what questions to ask. 2018;63(6):734-48. doi:10.4187/respcare.06312, Thabut G, Mal H. Outcomes after lung transplantation. For example, if you smoke, quitting can reduce how quickly your lung function declines and allow you to live longer. But, quitting smoking is only the first step. How is it treated? As you go through treatment, it is important for you to understand what these tests are and what their results mean for your health. A study published in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease suggested the following comparative life expectancy rates:. Improved patient outcome with smoking cessation: when is it too late? How can I have COPD if I've never smoked? Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis. Unfortunately, in some cases, the exact culprit is difficult to find. He has never wanted me to go to any doctors appointments with him...until now. hbspt.cta._relativeUrls=true;hbspt.cta.load(3306744, 'b59df0c1-c4de-47a8-8e1c-0d33d4b414aa', {}); However, it can be easy to get distracted or forget any questions you have once you're actually in the office with your doctor. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is estimated to affect 32 million persons in the United States and is the third leading cause of death in this country. COPD can be scary to live with, but it's easier to cope when you have a solid understanding of your condition, your treatments, and how to maintain your health. If you are struggling to manage your symptoms or cope with your disease, there are resources outside of the doctor's office that can help. He may also know about local COPD support groups and other helpful classes you could attend, such as music therapy or mind-body exercise classes like yoga or Tai Chi. There are three values measured in spirometry that are critically important to making a COPD diagnosis: your forced vital capacity (FVC), your forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) and the ratio of your FEV1 to your FVC (FEV1/FVC). A patient is presenting with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Current smokers with stage 3 or 4 COPD have a life expectancy of 8.5 years. While there is no cure for COPD, there are effective treatments that can help you live your healthiest life possible, should you receive a diagnosis. Below are some questions you may want to ask your health care provider to help you take care of your lungs. Ask your doctor about programs and medicines that may make it … It is important to ask this question, and if you get a green light, go! This will help you stay informed and understand what you can do to maintain your health and to stop your COPD from worsening. 10 Rational Reasons to Stop Smoking After a Diagnosis of Cancer, 4 Common Causes of COPD That You Can Prevent, The Most Frequently Recommended Options for Treating Moderate COPD, 5 Ways to Prevent COPD From Getting Worse. All of the medications prescribed for COPD have the potential to cause side effects. COPD Guidelines Questions to Ask / Necessary Information • Does patient position affect breathing? Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD on January 23, 2019. You should keep this list handy for a variety of reasons. Surgical intervention is an option for a small group of patients who meet very specific criteria. How Long Can I Live If I Get Colon Cancer? What is your prognosis? The disease can affect your bones, your muscles, your immune system, your digestion, and even your mental health. There is really no such thing as a “dumb question”! You just have to take it slow, start with light activities you can manage, and gradually do more as your physical abilities improve. If you've just been diagnosed with asthma, here are 10 important questions from WebMD to ask your doctor. He will then consider the results of these tests along with your symptoms and medical history to come up with a diagnosis. This is a quiz that contains NCLEX review questions about COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Your doctor is there to help you address all aspects of your health and wellness, not just diagnose you and prescribe medication. COPD medications must be taken correctly, as directed by your doctor. Your doctor is a great resource for learning what a proper diet looks like and how to maintain a healthy weight. If your doctor suspects COPD, they may ask the patient to do a spirometry test. Seven questions to ask your patients about asthma. That way, you can fully evaluate the medication's benefits and risks and more easily recognize any side effects that occur. COPD NCLEX Questions. The quicker you catch the symptoms, the quicker you can alert your doctor and get the medical treatment you need. Most of this information should be contained in your COPD action plan, which instructs you on how to manage your symptoms day after day. Questions for Your Doctor Anesthesia - what to ask your doctor - adult. Start at the beginning for your own clarity in the future. Reducing COPD … Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) damages your lungs. Your doctor will confirm that never smokers can also develop the disease. Can you explain the tests you are running? 2017;9(8):2684-91. doi:10.21037/jtd.2017.07.85, 10 Questions to Ask Your Doctor About COPD, Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. This includes things like air pollution, chemical fumes, and occupational exposure to dangerous respiratory toxins. True or False: COPD is reversible and tends to happens gradually. Understanding your COPD diagnosis is important but can feel overwhelming. In general, just about anything that repeatedly irritates and damages your lungs over time can cause COPD. He can also give you tips for reducing shortness of breath and managing your symptoms during physical activity. It is a disease that requires constant treatment and management, and the stress of living with chronic symptoms can be a lot to bear. There’s a lot of information to process. This can be a confusing — and even overwhelming — time. Or questions that you … When going to see your pulmonologist or PCP, are there questions related to COPD that you find yourself asking at each visit? On the other hand, quitting smoking may actually improve your COPD in a variety of noticeable ways. 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