How to Manage your Asthma using Peak Flow Meter
A peak flow meter is a portable, easy to use device that measures your lung functions. It helps you check how well your Asthma is controlled.
A person blows into it and the peak flow meter measures how much air the lungs pushed out. If someone with asthma can't blow out as much air as usual, this may mean he or she is going to have an asthma flare-up.
By using a peak flow meter, you can become more involved with your asthma management. You will be able to provide your doctor with valuable objective information about your asthma.
- Take readings twice a day, at the same time, to establish a baseline or "personal best" value for you. Your doctor may have you take readings in both before and after you have taken your inhaled medication (bronchodilator).
- Take a reading when you notice a change in your symptoms.
- Take a reading when you have been exposed to known "triggers" of your asthma.
How to use Peak Flow Meter:
- Set the indicator on the meter to the bottom of the scale before each breath.
- Take all measurements in a standing position, if possible.
- Remind yourself to breathe out only through your mouth.
- Hold your peak flow meter in a way so your fingers do not obstruct the hole in the back (this will cause falsely high readings), or the arrow that rises when you breathe out.
- Take a slow, deep breath in and close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
- Blow out as hard and as quickly as possible. Remember that you want maximum speed of expiration, not prolonged expiration. The "peak flow" occurs at the early part of your breath.
- Repeat once or twice and record the best measurement on your peak flow record.