Tips for productive conversations about a complicated health issue.
If you suffer from asthma symptoms like diffcult breathing, wheezing or chest tightness all unwelcome for any busy parent you’re not alone. In the United States, nearly one in 13 people live with asthma. Although all asthma patients have swollen airways, the cause of the swelling differs from one patient to another. Those differences can make it challenging to find the right treatment plan.
Here are some tips for making sure both you and your doctor have the best information for dealing with your particular case.
Track Your Symptoms
Write down when, where and how often you experience asthma symptoms. The more information you can give your doctor, the better your doctor may be able to help you find relief.
Understand Your Treatment Plan
Getting a quick reprieve from a rescue inhaler doesn’t necessarily mean you have your asthma under control. Ask your doctor for signs that your treatment is or isn’t working as intended. That way you’ll know if you need to adjust your regimen.
Know Your Options
If your attacks come especially frequently, or you have considerable diffculty breathing, ask your doctor about additional tests that could help you learn more. For example, a blood test can help detect a high level of white blood cells called eosinophils that may signal eosinophilic asthma, a specific type of asthma which can be harder to control.
Call the Specialists
If your treatment plan doesn’t seem to be working, ask your doctor about seeing an asthma specialists. For eosinophilic asthma specifically, pulmonologists or allergists/immunologists might be appropriate depending on your symptoms and triggers.
Advocate for Yourself
Be vocal about your wants and needs to help your doctor develop the right plan since asthma is not a “one-sizefits-all” disease.