Peak Flow Meter is an old tool useful for optimal control of Asthma. Still, it not utilized as much as it should be.
Peak flow meter provides us with a quick reading of the airflow, hence the state of airway function.
At Manuel Allergy Center, most patients receive training on the use of Peak Flow Meter and are provided with a chart to record the results regularly when the patients are symptom-free.
How to use peak flow meters?
Inhale air to the maximum capacity and blow out as rapidly as possible. The action will move the needle. Record the number. Repeat the tests three times and record the best value, when you are symptom-free.This number will serve as your average value. Compare this with the peak numbers when you suffer from symptoms of a cough or chest tightness.
Peak flow measurements give the patients an opportunity to assess your peak flow during the symptom-free states and its deviation due to exposure to triggering factors such as exercise, tobacco smoke, irritants.
Peak flow meters are not expensive to own; most insurances will pay for them.
Peak flow meters help you decide the next course of action to get relief of asthma symptoms as well as to prevent an attack of asthma by proactively using relief medications. A drop in Peak Flow measurement of more than 20% will require the use of inhalants, and a reduction of 50% may necessitate a visit to emergency room or urgent care centers for immediate treatment. The readings also give us information on the risk factors for causing an asthma attack.