This leaflet is designed to be printed out for people to record their peak flow reading.
We are holding off reviewing this leaflet until the SIGN guidelines on asthma are published, due October 2014.
A separate leaflet called Asthma - Peak Flow Meter describes how a peak flow meter is used, and why peak flow readings are useful, both to diagnose and to monitor asthma.
To take a peak flow reading: put the marker to zero, take a deep breath, seal your lips around the mouthpiece, then blow as hard and as fast as you can into the device. Note the reading. Repeat three times. The 'best of the three' is the reading to record on the chart.
What are normal and abnormal peak flow readings?
Normal peak flow readings vary, depending on your age, size, and sex. The range of normal peak flow readings is published on a chart, and doctors and nurses refer to the chart when they check your peak flow reading. In healthy people, peak flow readings vary slightly from time to time. The reading is often slightly higher in the evening compared with the morning.
Below is an example of a two-week diary of peak flow readings done by a child who has quite bad asthma.
Further reading & references
- Asthma, Prodigy (2007)
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.
Dr Tim Kenny
Dr Tim Kenny