Monitoring Your Asthma Symptoms

It is very important to track your asthma symptoms. Then you can take action if there is a change.

There are 2 ways to track your symptoms. Some people use a peak flow meter. The peak flow meter measures how well air is moving in your lungs. And some people keep track of small changes in their symptoms. They write them down every day. Your healthcare provider will help you figure out which way is best for you by developing an Asthma Action Plan. He or she will also tell you what to do if your symptoms get worse.

If you have a flare-up or asthma attack, always refer to your Asthma Action Plan. If you don't have an Asthma Action Plan, talk with your healthcare provider. An Asthma Action Plan should be updated every year or when your treatment changes.

If you use a peak flow meter, you should know your personal best reading. You should also know how to use the meter correctly, and how often you should measure your peak flow.

Woman using a peak flow meter.

Using your peak flow meter

Here are the steps to follow:

  1. To start, stand or sit up straight. Use the same position every time.

  2. Hold the meter and move the marker to 0 or to the lowest number.

  3. Breathe in as deeply as you can.

  4. Place your lips tightly around the mouthpiece of the meter. Make sure to keep your tongue away from the mouthpiece.

  5. Blow 1 time as hard and fast as you can.

  6. Write down the number next to the marker every time you use the meter.

Online Medical Reviewer: Allen J Blaivas DO
Online Medical Reviewer: Daphne Pierce-Smith RN MSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 2/1/2021
© 2000-2023 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.