People who develop aspergillosis usually have an underlying condition, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis, or have a weakened immune system due to illness or to immune-suppressing medications. If you have symptoms of aspergillosis and are already being treated for a medical condition, call the doctor who provides your care for that condition. In some cases, when you call to set up an appointment, your doctor may recommend urgent medical care.
If you have a weakened immune system and develop an unexplained fever, shortness of breath or a cough that brings up blood, seek immediate medical care.
If you have time to prepare before seeing your doctor, here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre- or post-appointment restrictions. When you call for the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance.
- Write down your key medical information. If you are going to see a new doctor, bring a summary of other conditions for which you're being treated, as well as recent medical appointments or hospitalizations.
- Bring all of your medications with you, preferably in their original bottles. If the doctor you are seeing doesn't have access to your medical records or previous imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans, try to get copies to take with you.
- Take along a family member or friend. Aspergillosis can be a medical emergency. Take someone who can understand and recall all the information your doctor provides and who can stay with you if you need immediate treatment.
- Write down questions to ask your doctor.
Prepare a list of questions so that you can make the most of your time with your doctor. For aspergillosis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms?
- What tests do I need?
- Do I need to be hospitalized?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- What are the possible side effects from the medications you're recommending?
- How will you monitor my response to treatment?
- Am I at risk of long-term complications from this condition?
- I have another health condition. How can I best manage these conditions together?
Don't hesitate to ask other questions.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you some questions, including:
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- What are your symptoms?
- Have you seen other doctors for this?
- When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
- How severe are your symptoms? Do they seem to be getting worse?
- Have you had a fever?
- Are you having difficulty breathing?
- Are you coughing up blood?
- What else concerns you?
- Aspergillosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/fungal/aspergillosis/. Accessed Nov. 12, 2013.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 12, 2013.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2013: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2013. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Nov. 12, 2013.
- Marr KA. Treatment and prevention of invasive aspergillosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2013.
- Treatment of aspergillosis. Arlington, Va.: Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2008;46:327.
- Marr KA. Epidemiology and clinical manifestations of of invasive aspergillosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Nov. 11, 2013.
- Denning DW, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of chronic pulmonary aspergillosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Dec. 6, 2013.