Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. You may be referred to a doctor specializing in disorders of the ear, nose and throat.

Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and to know what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. When you make the appointment, ask if there's anything you need to do in advance.
  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements you're taking.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Someone who accompanies you may remember information you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time with your doctor. For laryngitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • What are other possible causes?
  • What tests do I need?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach you're suggesting?
  • I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there any restrictions I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • Are there brochures or other printed material I can take home? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask any other questions.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:

  • When did you begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have allergies? Have you recently had a cold?
  • Have you recently overused your vocal cords, such as by singing or shouting?
Jun. 28, 2012