Talking to Your Doctor About Allergic Rhinitis

You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with allergic rhinitis. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write down your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
  • What is the best treatment option for me?
  • What medications are used for allergic rhinitis?
  • If medication is prescribed, what benefits and side effects should I expect?
  • Will my medications interact with any supplements that I am taking?
  • Might allergy shots be helpful?
  • Are there any alternative treatments I should know about?
  • Should I do anything differently in the event of a severe attack?
  • What lifestyle changes would be most effective in treating this type of rhinitis?
  • What can I do to avoid exposure to things that aggravate my allergies?
  • Do I need to take any special precautions when I exercise?
  • Do I need to take any special precautions when I travel?
  • Should I expect any complications from allergic rhinitis?
  • Are there any other factors that may exacerbate this condition?
  • Will I have allergic rhinitis for my whole life?
  • If I have children, will they develop allergic rhinitis?

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References

Advice from your allergist: Rhinitis. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunologywebsite. Available at: http://www.acaai.org/public/advice/rhin.htm. Accessed September 15, 2008.

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