What is a Peak Flow Meter?

What is a Peak Flow Meter?

A peak flow meter is a simple device used to measure how well your lungs are functioning. It measures the maximum speed at which you can blow air out of your lungs, also known as your peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR). This measurement can help you monitor your respiratory health and manage conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Peak Flow Meter Parts

A peak flow meter consists of a handheld device with a mouthpiece and a scale. To use it, you take a deep breath and blow as hard and fast as you can into the mouthpiece. The force of your breath moves a marker on the scale, indicating your peak flow rate. The scale is color-coded, with green, yellow, and red zones to help you interpret your results. This may differ depending on your peak flow meter. Always refer to your peak flow meter's instructions for specific guidance and information.

How to Use

Please make sure to read the instructions of your peak flow meter before taking a reading. Here are some general steps on how to use a peak flow meter:
    • Ensure your peak flow meter is clean and clear of any objects. 
    • Move the marker to the bottom of the numbered scale.
    • Stand or sit up straight. 
    • Take a deep breath in through your nose. 
    • Place the device between your teeth or gums, biting down gently. Then seal your lips tightly around the mouthpiece.
    • Blow out as hard and as fast as you can with a single breath/blow.
    • Read the number that is next to the marker. Make a note of the number.
    • To reset the meter, move the marker back to zero and repeat the steps 2 more times.
    • The highest of three 3 numbers is your peak flow number. Use this number to help you monitor your condition and share with your healthcare provider.

Caution: If you become lightheaded, then stop and rest. Resume later.

What to Keep in Mind

Here are some tips for using a peak flow meter effectively:

    • Stand up straight and take a deep breath before each measurement.
    • Place the mouthpiece in your mouth, sealing your lips tightly around it.
    • Blow as hard and fast as you can into the mouthpiece, aiming for a single, forceful breath.
    • Record the highest value displayed on the scale.
    • Repeat the process three times and record the highest result.
    • It is recommended to use a peak flow meter every morning and evening, or as directed by your healthcare provider.
    • Clean your peak flow meter to maintain its functionality. You can refer the peak flow meter's instructions for cleaning guidance.

Consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and recommendations.

If you have any questions or concerns don't hesitate to contact us at (888) 822-8293 to speak to one of our Customer Service Representatives. Where people can reach people. 

 

Sources:

American Lung Association. How to Use a Peak Flow Meter. 2022.
American Lung Association. What is a Peak Flow Meter. 2023.
BV Medical. 2024.
Mayo Clinic. How to use a peak flow meter. 2023.

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