flow is a simple measurement of how quickly you can blow air out of your lungs.
It’s often used to help diagnose and monitor asthma.”
There are varying forms of equipment used for peak flow but
a cheap and widely used piece is the peak flow meter.
The peak flow meter is a tool calibrated to work as a method
in attaining results based on a person’s rate of breath expenditure and provides
insight into the health of a person’s airways.
measure your peak flow, you take a deep breath in and blow as fast as you can
into a small, hand-held plastic tube called a peak flow meter. The measurement
taken is called your peak flow.”
Measuring peak flow can have variations depending on
environmental and biological factors, depending on how active the person is and
the rate of their breath expendeture. Some people develop to have a larger lung
capacity than others while some who potentially may do less exercise could have
a lower breath expenditure capacity in a smaller time leading to a lower
reading. Age, height and their BMI all play a role in the result of the peak
flow test. There are especially large variations in young children as they grow
at near unpredictable rates. From what has been seen through tests taken out
there is a correlation 4″In
2828 healthy children the peak expiratory flow rate increased with age, height,
and weight.” In addition to this,
pre-existing disease such as heart disease or environmental factors of smoking
will inhibit peak expiratory flow. However, a person’s activity in sports and
manual labour could potentially increase peak expiratory flow based upon the
intensity of the two respectively.
Peak flow charts are for both medical professionals and sufferers
of the likes of asthma. The chart will be used regularly in conjunction with
the peak flow meter so that results can do into a chart and an average can be
taken of the person’s peak flow.
Peak flow graphs are used to plot a person’s results against
that of a healthy person, medical professionals use this to decide whether or
not a person falls below or above the average for those of their height and age
group. This aids in the diagnosis of a potential sufferer of any multitude of
disease or illnesses.
A peak flow meter is used through a few simple steps.
Firstly, the peak flow must be set to zero on the scale and
ones fingers are not obstructing the view of the scale so that there is no
chance of such influencing the test in any way.
Secondly, the person must inhale a deep breath and place their mouth
over the mouthpiece ensuring it is completely covered. Thirdly, the person must
exhale as quickly and hard as they can, expelling as much air from the lungs as
they can within that one exhalation. Lastly, a note of the result must be taken
so that it can be plotted on a graph.
Measuring peak flow and comparing said results against the
peak flow score (Peak expiratory flow) can lead to an indication of narrow
airways; the extent of such would be determined by how fast someone can breathe
out. This could lead to the diagnosis of
asthma if there are other tests taken such as the 6″spirometry
will often be needed to confirm the diagnosis.” The test would be taken if a
person is finding it difficult to expel larger volumes of air and potentially
if a person has struggles breathing. It will also be carried out should a
person be found to be regularly out of breath. Based upon correlating the
result of the test with the graph, there is potential for a diagnosis. Medical
professionals will consult a peak flow graph to decide whether or not the
results gathered are abnormal, they will also use the diary handed to the
patient to look for a pattern over a single score as there are a multitude of
environmental factors affecting peak flow one of such is the time of day with
both night and day scores potentially coming up as different. Recovering from this can be through the use of
sports. Through studies there has been evidence that the possibility for
increased peak expiratory flow in sports.
to first-time measurements (P < 0.05). PEFR in elderly males increased by swimming once a week for 28 weeks" This however was not the same for females in which over the time period there was little change in the peak expiratory flow reading which leads to the suggestion that this could be gender –dependant or that the difference in intensity for males and females was significantly different. There are many ways to test the lung capacity of a patient or of one's own person. The multitude of different tests will be applied during various circumstances and needs of the patient. Pulmonary Function Tests measure the breathe expenditure and estimates the size of the patients lungs. For this test to take place the main pieces of equipment is a spirometer, a monitor to measure the readings and a nose clip to prevent loss of air through the nose while breathing. Without the use of a nose piece the test can vary greatly in accuracy as the loss of air would be immeasurable, meaning that the results taken could not be seen as acceptable. There is also the lung volume test in which an the patient is sealed in an airtight b 1 Unknown. (21/08/2015). Peak flow test. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/peak-flow-test/. Last accessed 08/12/2017. 2 Unknown. (2015). Peak flow test. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/peak-flow-test/. Last accessed 10/01/2018. 3 Unknown. (2016). Peak flow test. Available: https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/manage-your-asthma/peak-flow/. Last accessed 10/01/2018. 4 J W Carson, H Hoey, and M R Taylor. (1989). Growth and other factors affecting peak expiratory flow rate.. Available: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1791796/?page=1. Last accessed 10/01/2018. 5 Unknown. (Uknown). Peak Expiratory Flow. Available: http://mylungsmylife.org/wp-content/uploads/pef_graph.jpg. Last accessed 10/01/2018. 6 Unkown. (2015). Peak flow test. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/peak-flow-test/. Last accessed 10/01/2018. 7 Sato, K. , Konishi, Y. , Nakada, M. , & Sakurai, T. (2013). Swimming Exercises Increase Peak Expiratory Flow Rate in Elderly Men. American Journal of Sports Science and Medicine, 1(4), 56-58.