Peak Flow Meter
 A Peak Flow Meter can save your life or your child's life.  It is simple to use and simple to understand.  The American Lung Association web site describes the Peak Flow Meter in this way: "A peak flow meter is a portable, inexpensive, hand-held device used to measure how air flows from your lungs in one "fast blast." In other words, the Meter measures your ability to push air out of your lungs." (Learn more from the ALA web site) Each Peak Flow Meter should include a daily diary sheet.  This sheet helps you keep a record of how strong your lungs were on a certain day.
Why is this important?
If your Peak Flow Meter reading is normal, then everything is fine.  If your Peak Flow Meter reading is below normal, then you may need medication.  But, if your Peak Flow Meter reading is low, then you or your child may have to go to the doctor, and depending how low, it may have to be the emergency room.

Why the Diary?
By keeping a diary, you can see what times and dates are usually good or bad.  If you just began using a new medication it can help you determine, if that medication is working or not.  And maybe, just maybe you can see that your Asthma is mostly normal and you don't have anything major to worry about.

Most people who have an action plan and who take charge of their asthma rarely have to worry about going to the emergency room.  It's usually people who stop taking their medication or are exposed to dangerous triggers, such as tobacco, who end up needing emergency care.

Department of Public Health
Phone: (951) 358-4977 Fax: (951) 358-7165
Nutrition & Health Promotion - Asthma Program
Riverside University Health System—Public Health
4210 Riverwalk Parkway, 4th Floor, Riverside, CA 92505