What is a Peak Flow Meter and how it can help you

A peak flow meter is small device that measures how well air moves in and out of your lungs. When asthma episodes begin, the tiny airways of the lungs narrow slowly. A drop in your peak flow meter number may tell you if the air tubes are narrowing hours or days before you start to cough or wheeze. This can let you know that you may need to take your bronchodilator. By taking medicines early (before other warning signs start), you may be able to stop the asthma episode quickly and prevent a severe asthma attack.

HOW DO I USE A PEAK FLOW METER?

1. Stand up.

2. Remove any food or gum from your mouth.

3. Slide the marker to the bottom of the scale.

4. Take a slow, deep breath and blow into the peak flow

meter as hard and as fast as you can, like blowing out

a candle. Be sure to have a good seal so you can get a

good reading.

5. Repeat two more times.

Peak Flow Meter

Chart the best of three tries on your Asthma Diary. To estabalish a baseline use the peak flow meter morning and night for 2 to 3 weeks.  Keeping this diary will give you and your doctor good information as to how well your asthma is doing. It can help your doctor decide if the medicines prescribed are working and if your asthma is under control.

HOW DO I KNOW WHAT MY PEAK FLOW NUMBERS MEAN?

Your doctor will help you write down your personal numbers for the “Green”, “Yellow” and “Red” zones in your Asthma Action Plan. You should use your peak flow meter everyday to chart your breathing score in your Asthma Diary. This will help you determine if you need to take any of your quick–relief medication for prevention or call your doctor with concerns.

HOW DO I TAKE CARE OF MY PEAK FLOW METER?

• Keep it away from small children and pets

• Wash weekly in a clean basin with warm tap water and mild liquid dishwashing soap:

 Place all parts of the meter with warm tap water and mild liquid dishwashing soap:

 Shake off excess water

Allow to air dry

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