WHAT IS A PEAK FLOW METER?
A Peak Flow Meter is a portable hand-held device used to measure how air flows from your lungs in one “fast blast.” In other words, the Meter measures your ability to push air out of your lungs.
Peak Flow Meters may be provided in two ranges to measure the air pushed out of your lungs. A low range Peak Flow Meter is for small children, and a standard range meter is for older children, teenagers and adults. An adult has much larger airways than a child and needs the larger range.
HOW DO YOU USE A PEAK FLOW METER?
Step 1: Before each use, make sure the sliding marker or arrow on the Peak Flow Meter is at the bottom of the numbered scale.
Step 2: Stand up straight. Remove gum or any food from your mouth. Take a deep breath. Put the mouthpiece of the Peak Flow Meter into your mouth. Close your lips tightly around the mouthpiece. In one breath blow out as hard and as quickly as possible.
Step 3: The force of the air coming out of your lungs causes the marker to move along the numbered scale. Note the number on a piece of paper.
Step 4: Repeat the entire routine three times.
Step 5: Record the highest of the three ratings. Do not calculate an average. This is very important.
Step 6: Measure your Peak Flow Rate close to the same time each day. You and your doctor can determine the best times. One suggestion is to measure your Peak Flow Rate twice daily between 7and 9 a.m. and between 6 and 8 p.m.
Step 7: Keep a chart of your Peak Flow Rates. Discuss the readings with your doctor.
Why is it important to use the peak flow meter regularly?
Regular use is important because the readings:
- Will help you to recognize when your lungs are not working to their full capacity, which may mean that you are headed for an asthma flare-up.
- Will help your doctor to know how well your asthma medications are working.
- Can be used to help you determine what is triggering your asthma symptoms by taking readings before and after exposure to suspected triggers.
Click on the link below to view a clip showing how to use peak flow meter
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