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What Happens When You See a Children’s Respiratory Specialist?

Added On: April 21, 2017
By: Professor Parviz Habibi

If you need to see a children’s respiratory specialist to discuss your child’s asthma, seek advice on a chest infection, or get help with a sleep disorder, you might be wondering what to expect at the appointment.


Talking to Your Doctor

A large part of the appointment will be a conversation between you, your child and the doctor. You may discuss:

  • When the symptoms first appeared and how they have developed
  • Whether they get worse at certain times, such as after your child is running around
  • Your child’s medical history and any family history of conditions such as asthma
  • Any medication that your child is taking, even if it’s for a different problem
  • Details of any tests or treatment you’ve already had, which should be noted in the referral letter from your GP, if you have one. Make sure you bring this information to the appointment.

As well as listening, the doctor will also explain what is going on, answer any questions, and ensure that you understand any tests or treatments that are required.

Breathing Tests

Although there is a lot you can tell your doctor about the problem that’s brought you to the clinic, he will probably need to perform a physical exam and run some tests too. Some of the checks will be similar to those performed by your GP, such as listening to the lungs with a stethoscope. However, a children’s respiratory specialist can also perform some additional tests, such as getting your child to breathe into a device called a spirometer. The tests are usually simple, painless and easy for children.

The first appointment with your children’s respiratory specialist will usually last about an hour. It will take place in a comfortable consulting room where your child will be cared for by a doctor and nurses who understand how to make the experience as calm and painless as possible.