Peak flow meters are essential asthma management tools which are particularly helpful when you use them regularly. Asthma attacks can be kept to a minimum by consistent monitoring of your breathing. Comparing your current breathing score against your “personal best” peak flow allows you to take a snapshot of your lungs’ current condition and judge quickly whether you need to take any precautions.
You can compare your “personal best” against your peak flow at any other time to get an objective idea of how well you’re breathing.
Unfortunately, the result of a peak flow measurement is very dependent on your efforts, so try to use the same effort every time.
A single peak flow measurement, without knowing what your “personal best” is, is not very useful.
Try to use peak flow values together with your other symptoms to evaluate the severity of your attack.
- Peak flow meters measure how well you can get air out of your lungs.
- Peak flow meters monitor how effectively your long term controller asthma medications and your quick relief asthma medications are working.
- Peak flow at any given time helps you identify your asthma triggers.
- Peak flow helps you decide when to seek emergency treatment.
- A drop in your peak flow can be an early and effective warning sign of an asthma attack.
- Peak flow readings can help you measure how well you’re responding to your asthma treatments.
Peak Flow Zones
Your “personal best” peak flow measurement can be used to determine your asthma action or treatment zones.
- Green: 80-100% of your “personal best” peak flow. Just keep doing what you’re doing.
- Yellow: 50-80% of your “personal best” peak flow. Caution – be careful. Use your quick relief medication as needed to try improve your peak flow or relieve whatever symptoms you might be experiencing. Remember – keep monitoring your peak flow after your treatments.
- Red: Less than 50% of your “personal best” peak flow. Danger – Asthma Attack Action Plan time. Use your quick relief asthma medication and seek immediate medical attention.
Peak flow meters are one of your best weapons in your fight to control your asthma, so use yours often!