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davidtrump

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease & Your Doctor

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Coping and support

Living with COPD can be a challenge — especially as it becomes harder to catch your breath. You may have to give up some activities you previously enjoyed. Your family and friends may have difficulty adjusting to some of the changes.

It can help to share your fears and feelings with your family, friends and doctor. You may also want to consider joining a support group for people with COPD. And you may benefit from counseling or medication if you feel depressed or overwhelmed.

Preparing for your appointment

If your primary care doctor suspects that you have COPD, you'll likely be referred to a pulmonologist — a doctor who specializes in lung disorders.

What you can do

Before your appointment, you might want to write a list of answers to the following questions:

  • What symptoms are you experiencing? When did they start?
  • What makes your symptoms worse? Better?
  • Does anyone in your family have COPD?
  • Have you had any treatment for COPD? If so, what was it and did it help?
  • Have you ever taken beta blockers for your high blood pressure or heart?
  • Are you being treated for any other medical conditions?
  • What medications and supplements do you take regularly?

You might want to have a friend or family member accompany you to your appointment. Often, two sets of ears are better than one when you're learning about a complicated medical problem, such as COPD. Take notes if this helps.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:

  • How long have you had a cough?
  • Do you get short of breath easily?
  • Have you noticed any wheezing when you breathe?
  • Do you or have you ever smoked cigarettes?
  • Would you like help in quitting?

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