4 essential questions to ask a pulmonologist

Statistical evidence suggests that over 34 million people nationwide are grappling with a chronic lung condition, such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Such alarming statistical figures suggest that lung disorders are rampant in the country. A pulmonologist plays a crucial role in administering the required treatments and helping individuals manage symptoms of their lung diseases. While consulting a pulmonologist, it is essential to ask certain key questions to know better about one’s condition:

What is my diagnosis and prognosis?
It is essential to differentiate between diagnosis and prognosis and understand these aspects while addressing a lung issue. Diagnosis refers to the nature of the health condition, while prognosis refers to the course it is likely to take. While the former is based on one’s symptoms, the latter varies among individuals diagnosed with the same condition and may be based on various factors, such as age and comorbidities. It helps to consult a pulmonologist about one’s diagnosis and prognosis to understand what condition one is grappling with, any unusual symptoms one is likely to experience, etc.

What is the cause of my symptoms?
Understanding the underlying cause of a health condition can help one address the issue at its root. For example, living in a highly polluted area could be causing or aggravating one’s asthma. Thus, it is important to have an open conversation with one’s pulmonologist about one’s lifestyle and habits to determine the possible causes and contributing factors for a health condition.

What treatment will suit me the best?
Individuals with certain comorbidities may not be able to withstand certain treatments. Moreover, one’s age and health history are also integral factors in determining one’s treatment course. Thus, patients should ask their pulmonologists about the best treatment option for them, considering these factors, the possible side effects, and what the pulmonologist can do to mitigate them. Non-invasive treatment options should be discussed and considered if needed.

What are your experiences with patients suffering from the same condition?
This underrated question can provide considerable insight into other patients’ experiences when dealing with the condition and the pulmonologist’s proficiency in facilitating recovery. It can provide one with hope and courage to overcome the disease.