Questions to ask

This list is intended as a guide to the kinds of questions you might like to ask your doctor.  It is by no means complete, and some of the questions may not be appropriate to your particular case.  Your doctor may not know all the answers to these questions, but the questions help you start a dialogue with your doctor. If you think there  are other important questions that might need to be asked, feel free to email us via the contact form.

1.  What is birdshot?  How did I get birdshot?

2.  How far advanced is my birdshot?

3.  What is the prognosis (outlook)? How long am I likely to have birdshot for?

4.  How much sight have I lost?  Will this be permanent, or will treatment help me recover some of my eyesight?

5.  Can you tell me what typically happens to someone with birdshot?

5.  What are the current treatments for birdshot?

7.  Why are you choosing this particular medication regime (eg, steroids and immunosuppressants) and what are the side-effects of these particular medications?  How long will I be on these medications?  How often will you review my medication regime?

8.  What are the main side-effects of each type of medication you are prescribing for me?  What are the short-term effects and the long-term implications?

9.  Are you putting me on any medication to counter the side-effects of steroids and or immunosuppressants such as alendronic acid, calcium with vitamin D or stomach medication?

10.  What happens if this medication regime is not effective at controlling my birdshot?  How will you and I know whether it is controlling my birdshot?

11.  How often should I have blood tests and what are they for?  Who should carry out the blood tests?  Who will get the blood test results and interpret them?  How will I be told about the results of the blood tests?

12.  How often should I have monitoring and diagnostic tests such as ERGs, fluorescein angiograms, indocyanine green angiograms, visual field tests,  OCT scans, retinal photography, urine tests and DEXA scans and who will organise these?

13.  How often will I need to see the ophthalmologist/rheumatologist/GP?

14.  What is remission, and when will I know I am in remission?  Will I still need to be on medication when I am in remission?

15.  What is the goal of treatment? (eg, to stabilise my condition or to get into remission?)

14.  Will I have to be on medication for the rest of my life?

Revised August 2022

Next page: Factsheets

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