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February 27, 2010 at 12:08 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

What Is a Peak Flow Meter & How Can It Help My Asthma?

By Smarty More Blogs by This Author

Asthma

The long-lasting disease that influences the respiratory system and the flow of oxygen through the lungs and bronchial tubes is called asthma. Many people develop asthma at a young age for a number of reasons. Some people develop asthma because it is in their genes; either one or both of their parents have it which makes it more likely for the child to have it. Another possibility is that a child is overly exposed to secondhand smoke. When a child develops asthma, it typically lasts throughout their lifetime. People can also develop asthma later in life. As children, males are more likely to develop it, although around the time of puberty and thereafter, females are more likely to develop it.

Making an Action Plan for Asthma

Most people who have severe asthma have an action plan which is developed with a physician. It entails what should be done when an asthma attack is coming or is apparent. A family member or significant other should know what is in the action plan in case of a severe asthma attack in which communication can be obsolete or very limited. This can be a lifesaving technique for many people; asthma is a serious condition that should not be dealt with idly.

Peak Flow Meters

A peak flow meter is a portable device that asthmatics use to determine how well air is flowing through the lungs. It is essential in managing the symptoms of asthma and helps to prevent asthma attacks. A peak flow meter can determine if an asthma attack is likely to occur within hours or even days prior. When readings warn that an asthma attack is coming, people are able to take their rescue medications or preventive medications.

How a Peak Flow Meter Can Help

Peak flow meters help asthmatics determine the triggers of their asthma, decide if the action plan developed is working, decide how or when to adjust medications, and also to know when medical or emergency care is needed. Peak flow meters should be used at the same time each day. It is recommended in the morning and at night. The meters are fairly easy to use and the person with asthma and at least one other person that they might be with regularly should know how to use.

Be Prepared

Asthma symptoms are caused by so many factors that surround people everyday. Whether it is smoke, chemicals in something used nearby, pet dander or pollen from plants, it can trigger the signs and symptoms of an attack. Peak flow meters are helpful in determining how much air the lungs are getting and can be useful in preventing an attack. If an attack cannot be completely prevented, it can help to lessen its severity. Some asthma attacks can be dangerous and deadly (especially when untreated); therefore it is important to know how to use peak flow meters to avoid them. Sources: http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/peak-flow-meter http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/asthma-relief?page=2

Photo Credit: naturalhomecures34

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