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Peak Flow Meter Reading Should be Noted in an Asthma Diary

Aug 17, 2007
Managing asthma is heavily dependent on the ability of the patient to monitor their asthma on a regular basis and self-monitoring means taking notes about the frequency as well as severity of symptoms like wheezing and shortness of breath as well as measuring the lung function like peak expiratory flow rates or PEFRs.

One may also use an asthma diary in which to record daily peak-flow meter readings as well as symptoms of asthma that will help in visualizing a cause and effect relationship between being exposed to specific asthma triggers and reduction in peak-flow and/or exacerbations of the patient's asthma. The diary may also aid in keeping track of the medications used.

Set the Meter to Zero Before Making a Reading

Getting the best peak flow meter reading is dependent on the peak-flow meter being set to zero prior to making a measurement and when using the peak-flow meter, it should be done while standing up straight and also, take as deep a breath as possible. In addition, the peak meter reading should be taken when the peak-flow meter is in the mouth with the tongue below the mouthpiece and the lips tightly closed around the mouthpiece.

To get the best peak-flow meter reading it is also necessary to blow out as hard and fast as is possible and then breathing a few normal breaths before repeating the process a couple of times and jotting down the highest number obtained and there is no need to average the numbers obtained from the peak meter reading.

Depending on the patient's peak flow meter reading, it will be able to tell the patient whether his or her breathing is fine or whether there is a possibility of an asthma flare-up or if help is required straight away. The numbers on the meter are contained in various color zones and the green, yellow and red zones are similar to a traffic signal. A peak flow meter reading in the green zone would signify everything is OK, while those in the yellow and red zones would require action and therefore the patient needs to talk to the doctor about the best way of handling peak flow meter readings in those color zones.

The doctor would usually be able to instruct the patient as to when to take a peak flow meter reading and in case a patient is using asthma medicine it may be required once or twice daily and these peak-flow meter readings may also be able to help the doctor understand whether the medicines are working according to expected criteria or not.
About the Author
For more information on peak flow meter readings visit http://www.FlowMeterBasics.com/ or http://FlowMeterBasics.blogspot.com/
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