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Updated on September 17, 2021

Peak Flow Meter Measurement

A peak flow meter is a device which measures how fast air is expelled from your lungs (measured as litres per minutes).  It is used to detect airway narrowing early in lung conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive airway disease (COPD).  Measuring and recording the data helps you detect any deterioration early to allow you time to adjust the medication or see your doctor before symptoms get worse.

Reasons to measure your Peak Flow regularly

  • Monitor your asthma control
  • Demonstrate whether your treatment is working or not
  • Detect early signs of a flare-up early before more severe symptoms appear
  • Work out what trigger factors may influence your flare-ups

Click to view Asthma UK & BLF video on How to Use a Peak flow meter

How to user your Peak Flow Meter

  • Pull the red arrow back as far as it will go towards the mouthpiece.
  • Find a comfortable position (either sitting or standing) to do the test
  • Take as deep a breath as you can
  • Ensure your lips grip tightly around the mouthpiece
  • Then blow as hard and as fast as you can into the meter in a single breath
  • The number next to the pointer will be your score
  • Repeat the test 3 times to get 3 scores
  • Record the highest of the 3 scores in your peak flow diary or TELEME Health Tracker to share with your doctor.  This is called your Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR)
  • Do this test regularly as directed by your doctor so that you can self-monitor your condition with your doctor

Data Analysis

The PEFR is compared with the reference values from a normal population as well as to your average and your personal best PEFR values. Your personal best PEFR is defined as the highest number you can perform over a 2-week period when asthma is under good control.  Good control means that you do not have any symptoms.  When there is narrowing of the airways, your PEFR value will be lower than normal.  These readings are classified into 3 colour-coded zones of measurement to help guide your Asthma Management Action Plan

Regular measurements of your PEFR will help you and your doctor recognise early changes in your airways which can be used to guide your asthma care.  Do discuss your personal treatment plan with your own doctor.

Do record your PEFR in a diary or upload the data on TELEME Health Tracker to share with your regular doctor to help monitor your asthma control.

Click to view TELEME video How to Enter your Pulse Oximeter and PEFR readings into your TELEME account in your computer

Signs which suggest Poor Control for which you should see your doctor

Discuss your Asthma Action Plan with your own doctor and always have regular check-ups to monitor your asthma control

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Disclaimer. TELEME blog posts contains general information about health conditions and treatments. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The information is not advice and should not be treated as such. 

If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention from your doctor or other professional healthcare providers. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.

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