Patient information from BMJ


COPD: questions to ask your doctor

Last published:Dec 18, 2020

Here are some things you may want to talk to your doctor about if you have (or think you may have) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

  • How can you tell if I have COPD?

  • What do my test results mean?

  • What treatment should I have?

  • How will the treatments help me?

  • Should I do regular exercise? If so, what kind of exercise might I be able to do?

  • Do the treatments have any side effects?

  • What should I do if I get any of these side effects?

  • How often should I come back to see you if my treatment is helping?

  • How will you know if my treatment is working?

  • What should I do if I get a flare-up of my symptoms (doctors call this an ‘exacerbation’)?

  • How can I find out more about COPD?

  • What is 'self-management' and how can it help?

  • How does having COPD affect how long people live?

  • How can I get help to stop smoking?

  • Besides giving up smoking, is there anything I can do to help myself?

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