Preparing for your appointment

While you may initially consult your family doctor, he or she may refer you to a pulmonologist — a doctor who specializes in lung disorders.

What you can do

You may want to write a list that includes:

  • Detailed descriptions of your symptoms, including when they began and if anything seems to make them worse or better
  • Detailed list of all jobs and exposures that may have accompanied these occupational activities
  • Information about medical problems you've had and their treatments
  • Information about the medical problems of your parents or siblings
  • All the medications and dietary supplements you take or have taken in the last few years?
  • Questions you want to ask the doctor

What to expect from your doctor

A thorough medical history and physical exam can provide important clues about what might be causing your symptoms. Your doctor may ask some of the following questions:

  • Do you now or have you ever smoked tobacco?
  • What types of jobs or hobbies have you had?
  • How does the severity of your breathing symptoms relate to your work or hobby schedules?
  • Do you have a hot tub or humidifier at home?
  • Are you ever around pigeons or pet birds?