Who Can Benefit From Using A Peak Flow Meter?
Asthma is a serious, incurable disease that affects the respiratory system by not allowing air to flow accurately from the bronchial tubes to the lungs. The muscles in the bronchial tubes may tighten or become inflamed and mucus may be formed, making a partial blockage that is difficult to for oxygen to flow through. There are many people who are affected by asthma. There are about 20 million people within the United States with this difficult disease. Approximately 6 million of those people are children, which is 10-12% of children.
Children with Asthma
Children as young as five years old can begin seeing the risk factors for asthma or can fully develop it. It can be most commonly found in boys at a young age. Children often have loud whistling or wheezing sounds while breathing and can have frequent coughing attacks, when first developing asthma.
Adults with Asthma
Adults that develop asthma after the age of 20 have what is called adult-onset asthma. When asthma is developed later in life it is usually due to allergies and allergens in the air, such as pollen and pet dander. There is another type of asthma that adults can develop which is called, occupational asthma. This happens when asthma symptoms appear due to someone's surroundings at home or at their jobs. It is most likely to happen to women at an older age.
Using Peak Flow Meters
People should avoid eating just before the use of a peak flow meter and should be completely upright for the most accurate reading. It is important that you follow the same routine each time you use a peak flow meter. Otherwise there will be more of a variance in readings each time which may be alarming, even though it should not be. It is significant to read the directions that come with a peak flow meter before using it to know exactly what to expect when using it. The meter should also always be kept clean and free of germs that can cause asthma symptoms to flare up.
Who Uses Peak Flow Meters
Peak flow meters determine the peak expiatory flow, (or the amount of air flowing through the lungs), for the user. Peak flow meters are hand held, portable devices that can perform the test. They are ideal for all people with moderate to severe asthma, including small children. The meters are very simple to use, even a child is able to learn how to use it. They aid in determining what causes asthma symptoms and attacks. They can also be useful in making treatment decisions.
Peak Flow Meter Use
Peak flow meters should be used as part of an asthma action plan to control asthma signs and attacks. They can help defer any damage to the body from asthma-related complications. By using a peak flow meter for moderate to severe asthma along with recording the information more can be done by way of treatment with a doctor. There is currently no cure for asthma, but learning to control it can stop it from disrupting everyday life. Sources: http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/asthma-symptoms http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/asthma-relief?page=2 http://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/adult-onset-asthma?page=1 http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/home-lung-function-test
Photo Credit: sleepjunky