Correct Method for using a peak flow meter.

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pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/23/2007 2:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm a respiratory therapist and have found that many times when a peak flow meter is prescribed, the correct use is either not given or reviewed at a pace where it's hard to absorb all the info.  The following is the correct method and the info is taken from Krames On Demand which is a computer program found in a lot of the hospitals.  This is meant for educational purposes only & not as medical advice.  Using the correct method will help you control your asthma more effectively.
 
A peak flow meter measures how fast you can push air out of your lungs.  This tells you how well you are controlling your asthma.  Measure your peak flow as many times a day as your health care provider tells you to.
 
Step 1:  Move the marker to 0, or to the lowest number on the scale.  Stand.  (If you can't stand, be sure to sit up straight).  Make sure you're in the same position each time you test.
 
Step 2:  Take as deep a breath as you can.  Put the mouthpiece of the meter in your mouth, between your teeth.  Close your lips tightly around it.  Be sure your tongue does not block the opening.  Blow into the mouthpiece once, as hard and as fast as you can (only one breath).
 
Step 3:  Take the meter out of your mouth.  Look at the marker; it will have moved along the numbered scale.  Write this number down.
 
Step 4:  Repeat the test 2 more times.  Write the highest of the 3 numbers on your chart or in your diary.  THIS IS YOUR PEAK FLOW NUMBER. 
 
Hope this info helps all who use peak flow meters!

Red_34
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   Posted 1/24/2007 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Pegleg! Once again, your information is priceless :)
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younglady94
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 1/26/2007 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   
Pegleg, I have a question for you about peak flow readings? Here is the question what are the normal readings for a women who is 5'9'' tall, 31 yrs old, ??? I have read information on normal readings, but want to know the exact numbers.. Thankyou, pegleg, you have been a  great help to me in these forums, thought I d let you know that. BRANDI.. :-)

pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 1/29/2007 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
When you are given a peak flow meter, there are "average" readings on the form enclosed. HOWEVER, I NEVER go by these values because each person is as different as a snowflake. To get your reading, perform the test on a day when you are feeling your best. Do it 3 times. The higest number will be your baseline from now on. Perform the peak flow upon rising & again in the evening. If you keep a diary, you will start to notice patterns after about a month. The small pocket calendars are the best because you can carry it with you. Write the am reading at the top & the pm reading at the bottom. Also make a note if it is raining or sunny, pollen content, temp, humidity, & make a little note if you are already having breathing problems. After about a month, you will note that your readings may be higher in the am than during the pm because you have been out in the elements & exposed to triggers. You may also note that it may be higher upon rising. If this is the case, then you need to check your bedroom for dust mites (cover mattress & pillow), purchase HIPA filter for your heat & a/c system, try blinds instead of curtains, etc. When you go to see your MD, take the calendar w/you. This will give the MD an insight on your asthma activity.

An example of different variables: If you had 3 women, all age 42 (for example), all the same heighth, weight ... it would depend on if how active each woman was, whether she smoked or not, any illnesses she might have. I am 52 yrs old, 5'4", 130 lbs & my usual is around 600 which is more than the enclosure indicates. That's because I do lung exercises during my asthma mgt teaching.

Hope this info helps. Sorry to take so long in answering. Our computer is in my son's room & he's been ill the last several days. Let me know if you need any more info. I'm going to try to post some more asthma educational info on Wednesday. Take care!

Lib
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/31/2007 2:17 PM (GMT -6)   

Wow 600 Peak flow! Can you share with us the lung exersizes you do?

Thanks.

Liz


Purple16
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 1/31/2007 2:55 PM (GMT -6)   
My peak flow's 170...

younglady94
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 178
   Posted 2/6/2007 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
tongue  y highest Peak Flow EVER was 490. On not so good days it is 360-390. Thanks, Brandi.

pegleg
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 257
   Posted 2/7/2007 11:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Anyone can improve their lung function whether they have a respiratory problem or not. You can do the Pursed Lip Breathing exercise or simply every once in a while during the day, take a deep breath in and then a deep breath out (twice as long out as in). Then do a couple of strong, forced coughs. This will help the lungs clear any secretions, etc. Don't be surprised if you start coughing a little, especially if you do have some secretions that are expelled. Just remember that you don't want the secretions sitting in your lungs. The lungs need to be "exercised" to keep them functioning and secretions cleared. You'll be surprised at how much more energy you will also have. Remember to breath "out", not "in" when you climb stairs. Most people take a breath in when they start stair climbing. Good luck!
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