hen you have your peak flow done for the first time, a doctor
or nurse will teach you how to do it. Then they may tell you to carry out
measuring your peak flow whilst you are at home, without the help of a medical
First, I would get the person to find a comfortable
position, whether that is standing or sitting.
Then I would make sure the meter is set to
“0”, their fingers are not in the way and they are holding the meter
Next, I would tell them to take a deep breath and then
tightly place their lips around the mouthpiece.
Finally, I would make them breathe out as quickly and
as hard as they can.
When they have finished breathing out, I would make a
note of their reading.
I should repeat this test three times to get an accurate
reading and then the highest of the three readings will be recorded as their peak
flow score. If they have asthma and are taking a reading at home, they might
have a chart or a diary to record their results.
The score of their peak flow test is presented on the side of
their peak flow meter. Their peak flow is calculated by the amount of litres of
air that they breathe out per minute (l/min). What is believed to be a normal
score changes with that person’s height, gender and age. To help diagnose someone
who has asthma, their result can be compared to what would usually be expected
for a person of that age, height and gender. A vast difference between their
score and a normal score, or an alter in their scores in the morning and
evening or when their symptoms are both good and bad, may suggest they have
asthma. If they are keeping track of their asthma at their house, their score
should be compared to their best result when they had their condition under
control. A substantial change between what their recent score was and what
their best score was could indicate their illness is not being controlled
properly or they might be having an asthma attack.