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Respiratory Problems, Age 12 and Older (cont.)

Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • When did your symptoms start?
  • Is your respiratory problem localized, such as involving only one ear, one side of your sinuses, or the lungs?
  • Did symptoms start as a cold but now appear to be worse than you would expect from a cold?
  • Have you had similar symptoms before? How were they treated?
  • Do you have a productive cough? Are you coughing up clear, white, green, yellow, or blood-tinged mucus? How much mucus are you bringing up? Are you coughing up mucus all day long or mostly at nighttime?
  • Have you had fever and chills?
  • Are you wheezing, or do you have new or worsening shortness of breath?
  • Do you have a severe headache, earache, or sore throat?
  • Do any other members of your family or work group have similar symptoms?
  • Have you recently been exposed to large amounts of dust, fumes, smoke, or chemicals?
  • Do you smoke or use other tobacco products?
  • Have you recently used an indoor hot tub, pool, or spa?
  • What home treatment have you tried? Did it help?
  • What prescription, nonprescription, or alternative medicines have you tried? Did they help?
  • Have you recently traveled inside or outside of your home country?
  • Do you have any health risks?

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