People who develop aspergillosis usually have an underlying condition, such as asthma or cystic fibrosis, or have a weakened immune system due to an 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 normally 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, and what you might expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Be aware of any pre- or post-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to 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 going to see doesn't have access to your medical records or previous imaging tests, such as X-rays or CT scans, try to get copies of these 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? Would you write that down for me?
- Other than the most likely cause, what are possible causes for my symptoms?
- What kinds of tests do I need?
- Do I need to be hospitalized?
- What treatment do you recommend?
- If the first treatment isn't effective, what will you try next?
- Am I at risk of side effects from the medications you're recommending? What are they?
- 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?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask additional questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor your doctor is likely to ask you some questions, including:
Apr. 29, 2011
- What are your symptoms?
- 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?
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- Treatment of aspergillosis. Arlington, Va.: Infectious Diseases Society of America. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2008;46:327.
- Aspergillosis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/nczved/dfbmd/disease_listing/aspergillosis_gi.html. Accessed Jan. 3. 2011.
- Aspergillosis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec14/ch180/ch180c.html?qt=aspergillosis&alt=sh. Accessed Jan. 3, 2011.
- Denning DW. Aspergillosis. In: Fauci AS, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw Hill Medical; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2896200. Accessed Jan. 4, 2011.
- Sugar AM. Clinical features and diagnosis of invasive aspergillosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 30, 2010.
- Sherif R, et al. Pulmonary aspergillosis: Clinical presentation, diagnostic tests, management and complications. Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine. 2010;16:242.
- Rosenow EC (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. January 13, 2011.
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