Updated 16 September 2014

Asthma and your medical history

Do you suspect you may have asthma? When your doctor makes an assessment of your condition, he may want a detailed medical history.

Do you suspect you may have asthma?

When your doctor makes an assessment of your condition, he may want a detailed medical history.

Here is an example of the kind of questions asked during an asthma medical.

Do you have episodes of:

  • Coughing?
  • Chest tightness?
  • Wheezing?
  • Shortness of breath?

Is there a pattern to the symptoms? Do they change according to:

  • Seasons?
  • Places (at work, in the garden, in your kitchen)?
  • Things (animals, smoke, perfume)?
  • Times of day or night?
  • Activities or exercise?

How did the disease develop?

  • How old were you when you first experienced the symptoms?
  • When was your asthma first diagnosed?
  • Is there a family history of allergies?
  • Has your condition changed over the years (worsened, gone into remission)?
  • How did you respond to treatment?
  • How have you managed your asthma?
  • How do you currently respond to treatment?

At home, work, school or daycare, do you come across aggravating factors such as:

  • Allergens?
  • Exercise?
  • Occupational activities?
  • Irritants such as smoke, odours or pollutants?
  • Extreme emotions?
  • Drugs?
  • Food and food additives?
  • Weather changes?

How does this disease impact on you and your family?

  • Do you suffer life-threatening attacks?
  • Do you miss out on work/school/social activities?
  • Does your asthma interfere with sleep?
  • How does asthma affect growth, behaviour, concentration and performance at school, daily routine or your finances?

Are there factors that interfere with your adherence to medication, such as:

  • School/childcare?
  • Work?
  • Do you understand how to take your medication?
  • Substance abuse?

What is your (and your family’s) perception of the disease?

  • Do you understand the disease and how it’s treated?
  • Can you cope with the disease and its management?
  • Do you have support when you need it?
  • Are you coping financially?
  • Do you have any beliefs about the condition that you would like to discuss?

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