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Pushing Forward on Nine Toes
Pushing Forward on Nine Toes


(More Video)

Online learning resources for diabetes, asthma, hypertension, and nutrition.
Diabetes 101: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugar levels, and your diet.
Diabetes 201: Learn more about diabetes, managing your blood sugars, and your diet.
Asthma 101: Learn more about asthma and dealing with shortness of breath.
Hypertension 101: Learn more about hypertension and managing your blood pressure.
Nutrition 101: Learn more about improving your nutrition and diet

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Asthma

Lesson 4: Daily Care for Your Asthma





The ups and downs of peak flow

Asthma symptoms are usually worse while you sleep, although some people don't detect it and sleep peacefully. One explanation is that during sleep there are natural variations in the constriction and reactivity of your bronchial tubes. The combination of these factors can precipitate asthma symptoms. A peak flow meter is a good tool to monitor the severity of your asthma while you sleep. Simply compare your readings before and after sleep. A decrease in the reading of 15% or greater from before bed may indicate that you are having symptoms while you sleep. Your allergist can then discuss treatments for this with you.

Trigger-hunting with your peak flow meter

Routine peak flow monitoring can help determine which triggers cause your lung function to decrease. To hunt down specific asthma triggers, you can record your peak flow meter readings before and after exposure to allergens such as dust mites, irritants like smog, exercise or other factors that can trigger asthma. Taking peak flow readings during different seasons can help to determine problems that may be caused by pollens, mold spores, or cold, dry air.

Assignment #3
Check out our fantastic video on using a peak flow meter. You can find it at: http://www.savvyhealth.com/video/peakflowmeter.ram. You'll need at least a 56k connection and a RealPlayer to view the video. You can get a free Real Player at www.real.com.

So, how does this device work?

These are the steps to use a peak flow meter properly:

  • Set it to zero the number scale.
  • If possible, stand up to take the test
  • Take the deepest of breath you can.
  • Close your lips firmly around the mouthpiece.
  • Blow out as hard and as fast as you can (one to two seconds).
  • Try not to cough or let your tongue block the mouthpiece.
  • Write down the number you see on the scale.
  • Do this two more times, and write down the highest of the three numbers in your chart (and then enter them into your Savvyhealth Asthma Manager!)

It is best to take your peak flow readings twice a day. When you wake up and in the middle of the day.




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