You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with sinusitis. 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 out 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
How can I tell if my symptoms are due to a cold, allergies, or sinusitis?
Do I need any tests to definitively diagnose sinusitis?
If I have sinusitis, am I contagious to other people?
About Your Risk of Developing Sinusitis
Do I have a higher risk of developing sinusitis if I smoke?
Do any of my other medical conditions or medications make me more susceptible to sinusitis?
What can I do to avoid developing sinusitis while flying, swimming, or climbing in high altitudes?
About Treatment Options
Do I need an antibiotic?
Can I use a decongestant for comfort?
Will an oral decongestant interact with any of the other medications I take?
Could a decongestant cause a problem with any of my other medical conditions?
How long is it safe to use a nasal decongestant spray?
If I have recurring sinusitis, at what point might you recommend surgery?
Am I a candidate for functional endoscopic sinus surgery?
Sinusitis overview. American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website. Available at: http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/allergies/sinusitis.aspx. Accessed August 15, 2017.
Tips for talking to your doctor. Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/tips-for-talking-to-your-doctor. Updated May 2014. Accessed August 15, 2017.
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