Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
While you might first discuss your symptoms with your family doctor, he or she may refer you to a neurologist or an eye specialist for further evaluation.
To get the most from your appointment, it's a good idea to prepare. Here's some information to help you.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to soak up all the information you get during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Preparing a list of questions to ask your doctor will help you make the most of your time together. For pseudotumor cerebri, some questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
- Would losing weight help my condition?
- I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there any restrictions I need to follow?
- Should I see a specialist?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend?
Don't hesitate to ask any other questions that arise during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, including:
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
- How severe are your symptoms?
- What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
- What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
- Lee AG, et al. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri): Clinical features and diagnosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 29, 2010.
- Lee AG, et al. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri): Prognosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 29, 2010.
- Lee AG, et al. Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri): Epidemiology and pathogenesis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Sept. 29, 2010.
- NINDS pseudotumor cerebri information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/pseudotumorcerebri/pseudotumorcerebri.htm. Accessed Sept. 30, 2010.
- Dhungana S, et al. Review article: Idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica. 2010;23:71
- Uretsky S. Surgical interventions for idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology. 2009;20:451.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Sept. 30, 2010.
- Papilledema. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec09/ch107/ch107e.html. Accessed Oct. 1, 2010.
- Sinclair AJ, et al. Low energy diet and intracranial pressure in women with idiopathic intracranial hypertension: Prospective cohort study. British Medical Journal. 2010;340:2701.