Asthma treatment requires lifestyle changes. The success of therapy depends not only on adherence to medical recommendations in terms of taking medications, but also on the timeliness of measures taken to eliminate complications arising from the background of the disease.
For this, self-control diaries are used for bronchial asthma.
Lifestyle features of patients with asthma
The course of bronchial asthma is chronic. In this regard, pathology therapy is carried out at home. And asthmatics need to take medications on their own to relieve symptoms, monitor any changes in the body.
At the same time, you should limit your exposure to allergens and adjust your daily diet. It is also important to control the peak expiratory air velocity (ROP), according to this indicator, the success of the treatment is determined.
Self-control as a way to manage disease
To monitor the condition of your bronchi, it is recommended to use a peak flow meter . This machine records the maximum rate at which asthma patients are able to breathe in and out. That is, the device shows the productivity of the lungs.
With a peak flow meter you can:
- determine the effectiveness of the treatment;
- fix the emerging symptoms;
- timely detect bronchoconstriction (progression of the disease);
- identify patterns of development of the disease;
- to register attacks of suffocation, which allows taking appropriate medications on time.
Bronchial asthma provokes various changes, the causes and likelihood of the occurrence of which cannot always be determined. The peak flow meter makes it possible to identify the relationship between the exacerbation of pathology and certain factors.
In particular, if the device shows a decrease of inhaling air speed in a time when the patient is at home, perhaps in the premises there is an allergen, reducing the productivity of the lungs and bronchi. Keeping a diary, which lists the hourly and daily changes in the readings of the apparatus, it is possible to establish under what conditions the MRP changes. Based on the information received, the following are corrected:
- treatment regimen;
- patient behavior;
The peak flow meter helps to timely carry out measures aimed at preventing the development of complications.
Peak flow meter usage rules
Peak flowmetry (a procedure in which the rate of inhalation / exhalation of air is assessed) is indicated for all patients with bronchial asthma. This method of assessing your own condition must be resorted to daily. The frequency of using the peak flow meter is allowed to be reduced when the patient’s condition remains unchanged for a long time.
The procedure should be repeated at least twice a day at the same time, according to the developed schedule. The procedure for monitoring with a peak flow meter depends on the characteristics of the treatment:
- The patient is taking bronchodilators . The procedure is carried out immediately after waking up and before bedtime.
- The patient is not taking bronchodilators . The procedure is carried out after waking up and 3-4 hours before bedtime.
To reduce the degree of influence of the patient on the peak expiratory flow rate (PSV), peak flowmetry is performed 3 times in a row. Before starting the procedure, the patient should stand up while holding the device in a horizontal position. The device must be set to zero. When bringing the device to your mouth, you need to hold your fingers so that the scale and the hole at the end remain open.
Next, you need to do the following (in the order shown):
- Take a deep breath so that when you exhale, there is maximum air flow.
- Place your lips tightly around the mouthpiece of the peak flow meter .
- Exhale quickly.
From the data obtained after repeating the procedure three times, the average values are recorded in the self-control diary.
Peak flow results are influenced by a variety of factors, including gender, age, and the patient’s lifestyle. Therefore, when evaluating the data obtained, the PSV values in different periods are taken into account.
For better control over the changes occurring against the background of bronchial asthma, the graph is zoned into red, yellow and green areas. The boundaries of the latter are determined by the best PSV indicator achieved during the period of remission of the pathology. The lower zones are defined as 80% and 60% of the indicated result.
Interpretation of results
Indicators peak flow may be as follows:
- Green Zone. This area is plotted between the best PSV and 0.8 times the peak speed. Getting into the green zone indicates the normal (controlled) course of the pathology, the absence of exacerbation symptoms. Indicators during the day vary within 20%, and the PSV exceeds 80%.
- Yellow zone. Located below 0.6 times peak speed. Getting into the yellow zone indicates an exacerbation of bronchial asthma and the absence of a pronounced effect from the therapy. The disease in this case provokes an intense cough, a deterioration in the general condition of the patient. PSV varies between 60-80%. When entering the yellow zone, it is recommended to increase the dosage of the drugs taken by 2 or more times.
- Red zone. Located below the yellow border. This zone indicates a worsening condition characterized by shortness of breath, persistent coughing and other discomfort. PSV is less than 60%, and peak flowmetry indicators change during the day by more than 30%. Patients in this case will require urgent medical attention to stop possible suffocation.
Once in the red zone, the indicators help determine the degree of development of the obstruction of the lungs and the intensity of the general symptoms. For the results of the study to be as accurate as possible, no medications should be taken before the morning procedure.
The need to keep a self-control diary
The diary of a patient with bronchial asthma is a tool for self-diagnosis of exacerbations, allowing timely changes in the treatment regimen of the disease. This approach helps to control the course of pathology.
With the help of a diary, the degree of obstruction of the lungs and the nature of the impairment of the productivity of the latter are assessed. Based on the results of taking measurements, the doctor, if necessary, changes the approach to treatment in order to prevent asthma attacks and improve the patient’s quality of life.
How to keep a self-control diary for bronchial asthma
The asthma self-monitoring log contains the peak expiratory flow rate values. Entering these data into the diary, it is necessary to indicate the date and time of the procedure.
After each filling of the log, it is necessary to compare the current values with the earlier ones. If the values obtained are below 80% of the peak expiratory flow rate, it is necessary to act in accordance with the instructions (take medications or otherwise) drawn up by the doctor.
The diary should also record the total number of breaths of a short-acting beta 2-agonist (inhalation drug used for choking) for the last day. In addition, it is important to reflect in the journal all symptoms of bronchial asthma that occur during the day.
Regular monitoring of asthma, carried out with the help of a journal, increases the chances of successful recovery of the patient, improving the quality of life of the latter and lengthening the period of remission.
As part of the therapy of pathology, it is also necessary to apply other methods aimed at preventing exacerbations and relieving symptoms, and not be limited to keeping a journal.