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 many packs a day and when did you start?
- Are you exposed to the smoke of other smokers?
- 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:
- Do you cough every day? If so, when did that start?
- If you smoke, have you tried to quit?
- When did you first notice shortness of breath?
- Does anyone in your family have emphysema or COPD?
- 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?