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.
General Tips for Gathering Information
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.
Specific Questions to Ask Your doctor
About Treatment Options
- 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 really severe attack?
About Lifestyle Changes
- 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?
Advice from your allergist: Rhinitis. American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology website. Available at:
. Accessed September 15, 2008.