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How To Measure Asthma?

How To Measure Asthma?

What measures asthma?

Exposure to asthma triggers on a daily basis can result in an inflamed airway in kids with asthma even when they're not having any specific kind of breathing problems. Airway inflammation increases over time, and results in unexpected flare-ups being a big risk. They might feel normal, even as their airways are swelling, becoming narrow, and eventually getting blocked up.

Generally it isn’t possible to detect an inflamed or obstructed airway just by listening to your child's breathing or feeling it. During this period, a doctor might ask you to use an inexpensive, portable device called a peak flow meter to measure the lung function. This data can help you manage your child's asthma and avoid major flare-ups. A peak flow meter measures the flow of air as it's expelled from the lungs. In this process your child blows into the peak flow meter (as if blowing up a balloon). A marker then slides up a scale on the meter as your child blows out to indicate how much air they exhaled. The peak flow is the number where the marker stops on the scale.

What does it display?

It displays the severity of your child's asthma by giving us accurate data. It also displays how well the child responds to asthmatic medicines during a flare-up. It measures the air exhaled and the data we get can tell us whether the asthma is worsening or recovering. If the peak flow is lower than usual, you know that your child's airways are inflamed and obstructed, making it difficult to blow air into the meter. This means that lung function isn't at its best and a flare-up might be on the way. This advance warning gives you a chance to take preventive measures, such as giving medicine.

How to use a peak flow meter?

Using a peak flow meter is not that difficult. Following are the steps on how to use a peak flow meter.

  1. Set it to zero.
  2. Have your child stand up and take a deep breath.
  3. Have your child blow as quickly and strongly into the device as possible.
  4. Record the number that the meter reads (this is known as a reading).
  5. Repeat three times and note the highest recorded number (not the average).

Click on the following link to know about your options on peak flow meters.

 

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