Peak Expiratory Flow Rate: How We Measure and Why?

Nov 9, 2020 | PEF

* Peak Expiratory Flow is measured by you, several times a week using a small pocket-sized flowmeter

* You record the number measured by this devise.

* This number shows how well you are able to exhale and tells me if we have your lung inflammation under control

* When this number starts edging down over a few days, we know its time to take action before you start to feel symptoms of chest tightness, shortness of breath or actual wheezing.

* I use Peak Expiratory Flow measurements and ACT scores in your Asthma Action Plan to help guide you in responding to changes in your lungs.

 

In order for you to self-manage your asthma, you need a way to detect early drops in your lung function.

Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF) is that way.

It is measured using a device held up to your lips while you forcefully exhale.

This device measures how much air is exhaled and registers this as a number for you to read from the device.

When your lungs are in good control, the number reading for your PEF will be very similar to that of a person without asthma.

When your inflammation gets out of control, the swelling in your breathing tubes blocks air from being exhaled.  This results in lower numbers on your PEF device.

When this device is used daily, you will be able to detect a downward trend that is a sign of worsening inflammation days before your breathing becomes so labored that an ER trip is needed.

Peak Expiratory Flow:  Let’s make it a daily measurement!

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If you need a Peak Flow Meter and your pharmacy or doctor can’t help, you can order from Amazon.  I have tested the Omron and found it durable, simple, compact, and affordable.

 

I may earn commissions for purchases made through the links below.

 

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PEF: Omron Peak Flow Meter

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Why no one has a PEF device

There may be a number of reasons and the reason may be different between patients but one big problem in the U.S. is that doctors don’t order them for patient use, despite the national recommendation to do so.

What does it Mean?

Regular measurements of your PEF are not only of interest to you.

I will use your measurements to decide the strength for your controller medicine.

The goal with controller medicine is to find the lowest possible dose that controls your lung inflammation.

This strategy reduces problems that can occur when steroids are overused, such as  fungus infections in the mouth, slowed growth in children, and lessening your body’s ability to withstand the stress of injury or infection.

How do you get one?

I’ll give you a doctor’s order to present to the pharmacy, or if they don’t have it, I tell you where to order from Amazon.

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