Asthma related to allergies and CAID can be controlled, and often prevented, through avoidance and education. If you can recognize your triggers, as well as your trigger symptoms, you will be able to control your asthma through early use of your medication.
The first step is to create
an asthma action plan with your doctor. This includes knowing when to take your medication and when to avoid your triggers, especially if they are allergens or irritants.
One invaluable tool for people with asthma is the peak flow meter, a handy, noninvasive way to assess the otherwise subjective signs such as cough, wheezing, shortness of breath. Peak flow meters can be purchased at any pharmacy and come with easy to understand instructions and a diary to record daily values. Some of them are small enough to be carried in a pocket or purse. Digital peak flow meters are also available. One such product, the PIKo is able to store all of the measurements inside a computer chip. A physician is able to download these to a computer and analyze your asthma trends. This can help guide therapeutic decisions by your physician.
To use a peak flow meter (3), you need to take a deep breath and blow into it. This records your average level of forcefulness, called your “personal best score.” You can compare this score to how you feel right after taking your daily medications and whenever you feel the onset of an attack. Each peak flow meter has three value zones:
Green (okay) zone 80-100 % of personal best
Yellow (caution) zone 50 - 80% of personal best
Red (danger) zone <50% of personal best
Your personal best value is as individual as you are. It depends on your age, height, and gender. However, your personal best score should fall within the green zone.