Preparing for your appointment

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Here's some information to help you prepare for your appointment.

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, such as not taking medicine for your congestion beforehand.
  • 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 any major stresses or recent life changes.
  • Make a list of all medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Preparing a list of questions for your doctor will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important. For nonallergic rhinitis, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • Other than the most likely cause, what are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • 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 these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there 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 materials I can take with me? What websites do you recommend?

Don't hesitate to ask other questions during your appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

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

  • Have you had a cold or other illness recently?
  • When did you begin having 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?
  • What medications have you tried for your symptoms, and has anything helped?
  • Do your symptoms worsen when you eat spicy foods, drink alcohol or take certain medications?
  • Are you typically exposed to fumes, chemicals or other airborne irritants?
Feb. 19, 2013