Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. If you have chronic bronchitis, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in lung diseases (pulmonologist).
What you can do
Before your appointment, you may want to write a list that answers the following questions:
- Have you recently had a cold or the flu?
- Have you ever had pneumonia?
- Do you have any other medical conditions?
- What drugs and supplements do you take regularly?
- Are you exposed to lung irritants at your job?
- Do you smoke? Do you live or work with a smoker?
You might also want to bring a family member or friend to your appointment. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember all the information provided. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
If you've ever seen another physician for your cough, let your present doctor know what tests were done, and if possible, bring the reports with you, including results of a chest X-ray, sputum culture and pulmonary function test.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
- When did your symptoms begin?
- Have your symptoms been continuous, or occasional?
- Does it affect your sleep or work performance?
- Do you smoke? If so, how much and for how long?
- How much has your stamina decreased in the last year?
- Do you exercise? Can you climb one flight of stairs without difficulty? Can you walk as fast as you used to?
- Does anything improve or worsen your symptoms?
- Does cold air bother you?
- Have you received the annual flu shot?
- Have you ever been vaccinated against pneumonia? If so, when?
- Bronchitis (chest cold). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/GetSmart/antibiotic-use/URI/bronchitis.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Shoemaker DM, et al. Bronchitis. In: Rakel RE. Textbook of Family Medicine. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191205553-4/0/1481/0.html#. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- File TM. Acute bronchitis in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Rennard SI. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Definition, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and staging. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.
- Acute bronchitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec05/ch051/ch051a.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- What is bronchitis? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/brnchi/brnchi_all.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Ferri FF. Acute bronchitis. In: Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2011: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05610-6..C2009-0-38600-6--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05610-6&about=true&uniqId=230100505-53. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Rosenow EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 8, 2011.
- Symptom relief. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/symptom-relief.html. Accessed Feb. 4, 2011.
- Ferguson GT, et al. Management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 3, 2011.