Trust and faith in medical professionals make up the backbone of any doctor-patient relationship—a patient must respect their doctor’s expertise for that expertise to do any good. But just as integral is open communication between doctor and patient. Just because you’re not the doctor doesn’t mean it’s incumbent upon you to sit silently with no questions, concerns, or insights. In fact, your doctor relies on you to be inquisitive in order to provide the best care possible. Here are some questions to ask your ENT before your first visit so that you can get the most out of your appointment.
How Should I Prepare?
A simple, open-ended question like this can be extremely beneficial to you and your doctor. As self-evident as it may seem to ask such a question, this will distinguish you from many more passive patients who don’t open a line of communication with their doctor’s office in advance of an appointment. By opening with this question, you can begin to go into follow-ups to better prepare.
What Should I Stop Taking?
Many prospective ENT patients are already taking over-the-counter medications, prescription drugs, or supplements. Before your visit, give a list of everything you’re taking so that your doctor may take that into account. If necessary, you may need to stop taking some OTCs or supplements that could conflict with each other or should be stopped prior to an examination. Take time to compose a complete list that you can read to your ENT.
What Could Be Causing These Symptoms?
Go through the symptoms you’re experiencing and ask what the root cause of these symptoms may be. You and your doctor may begin to get a better idea of what to do next by narrowing down possibilities. For instance, your ENT may be able to rule out asthma or allergies based on your symptoms.
Should I Track My Sleep?
If breathing problems are persisting into your nights, it may be wise to track your snoring to give you a rough idea of what your sleep is like. A smartphone app can measure the volume and frequency of your snoring, giving you insight into which breathing problems disrupt your sleep. While a sleep-tracking app is no substitute for a doctor’s care, some basic sketches of your sleep could be useful to you and your ENT as you treat breathing issues.
While these are a few useful questions to ask your ENT before your first visit, the open dialogue between you and your ENT should continue well into your first examination and beyond. As ear, nose, and throat doctors in the Houston area who value the role of informed and involved patients in medical care, the doctors of Allergy & ENT Associates welcome your questions before, during, and after your visit.