Preparing for your appointment

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?