Your first appointment to check for emphysema may be with your primary doctor or with a specialist in lung diseases (pulmonologist).
What you can do
Before your appointment, you might want to write a list that answers the following questions:
- Do you smoke? If so, how much do you smoke and when did you start?
- Have any of your jobs exposed you to chemical fumes or industrial dust?
- Does anyone else in your family have lung problems?
- What medications and supplements do you take regularly?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:
Apr. 29, 2011
- Do you cough every day? If so, when did that start?
- If you smoke, have you tried to quit?
- Does shortness of breath keep you from completing daily tasks?
- Have you ever noticed your fingernails or lips turning blue?
- Have you recently gained or lost weight?
- Shapiro SD, et al. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In: Mason RJ, et al. Murray and Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/192068760-2/0/1288/0.html. Accessed Feb. 24, 2011.
- What is COPD? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/Copd/Copd_WhatIs.html. Accessed Feb. 24, 2011.
- Anthonisen N. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In: Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed Feb. 24, 2011.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. 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. 24, 2011.
- Rennard SI. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Definition, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and staging. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 24, 2011.
- Rennard SI. Management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Feb. 25, 2011.
- Pulmonary rehabilitation: A team approach to improving quality of life. American College of Chest Physicians. http://www.chestnet.org/accp/patient-guides/pulmonary-rehabilitation-team-approach-improving-quality-life. Accessed Feb. 25, 2011.
- What is oxygen therapy? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/oxt/oxt_all.html. Accessed Feb. 25, 2011.