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How is a peak flow meter used to help with asthma symptoms?

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A peak flow meter is an inexpensive, hand-held gadget. You use it to measure how fast air comes out when you exhale hard after a full breath in. This number is called a peak expiratory flow, or PEF.

Your doctor may want you to use a peak flow meter to help you recognize trouble. Many asthma symptoms come from not being able to move air out of your lungs. If your PEF goes down, that's a sign your asthma is getting worse and you need to do something.

SOURCES: American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: "Tips to Remember: What is a peak flow meter?" and "My Asthma Action Plan." 

American Lung Association: "Asthma Action Plan."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): "Mind-Body Medicine--An Overview."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 23, 2019

SOURCES: American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology: "Tips to Remember: What is a peak flow meter?" and "My Asthma Action Plan." 

American Lung Association: "Asthma Action Plan."

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM): "Mind-Body Medicine--An Overview."

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on May 23, 2019

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What should an asthma diary include?

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