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digital peak flow machine? Does anyone have one?

Hi,

Just discovered that they sell a digital peak flow machine on amazon. Has anyone got one or uses one? Im currently keeping a peak flow diary and im getting ever so fed up with manually doing one and the EU peak flow I have isnt the best.

Has anyone got one?

C

9 Replies
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Yes, I have one that I bought myself! However, there's no need to go on Amazon, as two digital meters are available on prescription - the Piko-1 and the Vitalograph asma-1. If you're taking lots of measurements then it would be sensible to ask your doctor for a prescription. The digital meters are a lot smaller and can store readings.

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ah..interesting!

i wish i knew about this ages ago - im getting a little fed up of keeping a manual record. I also wish i knew about the prepayment prescription thing ages ago too (i would have saved a load of money).

Any different to the manual ones?

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Well digital meters are more convenient and smaller. You don't have to write down or remember each best of three reading as the highest reading is stored automatically. They also measure FEV1 (Forced expiratory volume in one second) which is the volume of air that you blow out in the first second which some people find useful. I'm not sure of the significance of FEV1 readings though, but for me they behave similarly to peak flow readings, with a smaller percentage change.

Having said that, it's sensible to keep a manual meter as a spare in case the digital one develops a fault, so you know where your normal readings lie on a manual meter. Different meters can read slightly higher or lower, even if the make and model is the same.

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i have the asthma-1 and although it does store the readings, it has a memory limit of 600 readings, after which it'll overwrite the oldest recordings. One advantage with this model is that it uses standard batteries that are easy to replace. I bought mine myself before it was available on prescription,, it does tend to read higher than the manual meters but all the digital ones do.

Edit; Also this one tells you if you do a faulty blow, LOL!

vitalograph.co.uk/products/...

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Hi,

I have just been diagnosed, and I have just got a Piko 1.Can someone explain the range of the reading that I am getting. Red is obviously not good, yellow I think is 50 - 80% ( I am in the yellow) and green is good. But how do I know where in the yellow range I am, am I nearer 50% or nearer 80%

I am experimenting with it at the mo, I take a reading before any inhalers, then another reading a bit after using my inhaler (just to see what difference it makes) I used it today after the gym, and was surprised that my reading was so low, so I used my inhaler again.

Thanks

Jude

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Hi Jude,

The yellow zone is quite wide, so perhaps work out the values that correspond to 80% and 50% of your best or predicted peak flow. You can then see if the reading shown on the Piko-1 is nearer the green or red zones.

So if your best peak flow is 600 L/min:

Green 80% is 0.8 x 600 = 480

Red 50% is 0.5 x 600 = 300

Woody also posted a useful link a while back for free peak flow charting software that you can use to record and analyze peak flow readings.

asthmaassistant.com

As for peak flows falling after a gym session, exercise is a common asthma trigger and if this affects you, then the standard advice is to take two puffs of your blue inhaler 15 minutes before exercise and to warm up properly - but do mention exercise symptoms to your GP or asthma nurse as adjusting preventer medication can also help as well.

asthma.org.uk/all_about_ast...

Hope that helps,

Ginny

Edit: Delete any spaces in the link after pasting.

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which one would you reccomend? (plus i have a question I cant be bothered to google)

Hi

Im checking out the link woody added - i like the idea of a machine telling me my breath is faulty! (i can use it when im debating my lung condition with my gp's i can hold it up and say see faulty breath im right your wrong...again!) Is the Vitalograph available on a prescription?

what is FEV1? I just saw it on the screen on the website? I might just buy one if i cant get it on a prescription as im finding the peakflow logging is helping me predict a flare up and I need to avoid going on preds!

thanks for all the advice!

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the faulty bit isn't strictly correct, it's more if you do an incorrect blow, not sure how because it's told me a few times over the past year.

FEV1 is the volume of air you blow in the first 1 second, if it was COPD you had then a meter that records FEV6 would be useful as that records the first 6 seconds.

best bit is the asthma assistant software, if you don't mind using a computer a bit, produces some nice charts and over time builds a detailed picture. The software is free but does require a registration code, available on the website. If you want to be lazy though, Vitalograph do the Asma-1 with a usb that links to software that they produce, more money and I can't vouch for that, Piko also do the same.

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ah - I see.

I have evil asthma I cant believe i've ended up on two preventers to get back to a point where im feeling like in in control and dont get the chest pain and the rib ache (felt like a cracked a rib coughing so much!).

Keeping a peakflow helps on a massive scale because now the Gp's get a better picture of what is going on too.

thanks for all the advice!

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