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Treating COPD Effectively

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This content is created or selected by the Healthgrades editorial team and is funded by an advertising sponsor. The content is subject to the Healthgrades medical review process for accuracy, balance and objectivity. The content is not edited or otherwise influenced by the advertisers appearing on this page except with the possible suggestion of the broad topic area. For more information, read the Healthgrades advertising policy.
At Your Appointment

COPD Appointment Guide

Ask the right questions at your next doctor’s appointment. Answer two questions below to personalize your appointment guide.
  • Please describe the symptoms and issues you’re having that led you to schedule this online appointment. Start at the beginning of this current episode and tell me how and when things have changed and progressed.
  • How often do you have trouble breathing or shortness of breath? Frequently, occasionally, or rarely?
  • How many COPD flare-ups have you had? Have you ever been hospitalized for COPD?
  • What level of activity causes you breathing trouble or shortness of breath? For example, only with strenuous exercise, or even with everyday tasks such as climbing stairs and getting dressed?
  • How are you monitoring your breathing or COPD symptoms? Are you using a spirometer or peak flow meter?
  • Are you taking your COPD medications as directed?
  • Are your breathing difficulties negatively impacting your quality of life, such as your ability to do activities, your sleep, or your energy level?
  • For how long have you been having difficulty with your breathing? How has this affected your everyday activities?
  • Does your breathing difficulty including wheezing or chest tightness that you don't normally have?
  • Do you have a cough in addition to breathing difficulties? If yes, does the cough produce mucus or phlegm?
  • Do you have a history of smoking? If yes, for how long and in what amount? Are you currently smoking?
  • How well is your medication controlling your symptoms? Do you feel it is effective?
  • What concerns you most about your COPD?
  • What new symptoms are you experiencing?
  • Do my symptoms mean I have COPD?
  • What causes COPD? How is it different from asthma?
  • Could my symptoms be caused by another medical condition?
  • What medications are available to improve my breathing symptoms?
  • What should I do if my breathing symptoms get worse?
  • Are there lifestyle changes I can make to improve my symptoms, such as exercise or dietary changes? Are there specific activities you would recommend I avoid?
  • How would you categorize my COPD: mild, moderate or severe?
  • What are my treatment options for COPD?
  • Do I need pulmonary rehab?
  • How often do I need to make appointments for follow-up? What are you looking for when I have follow-up appointments?
  • Are there other medications that would do a better job of controlling my symptoms?
  • Do my new or different symptoms indicate that my COPD is getting worse?
  • Can I get better results from different COPD treatments?
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2018 Jul 17
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
How Long Have You Been Treating Your COPD?
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Less than 5 years
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5 to 10 years
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More than 10 years
Less than 5 years
5 to 10 years
More than 10 years
Total votes: 5301