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digital PEFR-plus-FEV1 meters

Does anyone know whether the digital PEFR+FEV1 meters are able to detect problems in the small airways?
I know that good ol' mechanical peak flow meters cannot detect such problems.
Will a digital meter measuring both PEFR and FEV1 be able to tell me whether my small airways are misbehaving?

  1. Hi. Prior to you publishing this here i was not familiar with digital PEFR+FEV1 meters. I have learned some about them by doing a quick search of the Internet. It is neat that so many things like this are now available for us to try. As with you, I am curious to learn that answer to your great question. Is this something that you are trying on your own? Or is it something that your doctor has recommended? John. community moderator.

    1. I bet I know what you're putting on your Christmas list now! 😁

  2. I haven't bought one of these things yet. And it is my own notion to look into it. Neither my GP nor my respirologist have even mentioned such a thing.

    1. Hi again, burviji, and thanks for your post.
      You may recall that you, my colleague, , and I had a very similar conversation back in mid-September. At the time, we were talking about your peak flow rate pattern. At that time, you were looking to determine (based on your excellent flow rate results), if there was a test of some kind that could actually measure the involvement of the smallest airways, known as the respiratory bronchioles. I believe we concluded that conversation by realizing it was virtually impossible to measure the volumetric and specific flow activity at that level of the lung. For ease of reference, here is a link to that conversation:
      Having said all that, I understand your desire and interest in determining what is actually happening in your respiratory system at that level. Towards that end, I also understand your desire to evaluate if the digital devices, which measure Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR), and Forced Expiratory Flow Rate in 1 second (FEV1), will actually measure this.
      This may be something you'd want to take up further with a physiologist who is working/researching at that level of lung function. I cannot imagine a digital device will be any more accurate or, be able to measure the activity at the level of the respiratory bronchioles. My next suggestion would be to speak with a doctor or respiratory therapist who works with a top-level pulmonary function diagnostic system and see what they have to suggest.
      What do you think?
      Leon (site moderator

  3. I guess it would be more accurate for me to ask whether FEV1 would provide useful information about changing lung function when PEFR doesn't.

    I assume we've been relying on PEFR because it's the only test we've been able to do outside of a doctor's office and on our own. It's been useful to most people, in most cases.

    But now there are digital devices that can measure not just PEFR but also FEV1.

    So here's the question: Can measuring FEV1, and observing changes in it, be of any use to those asthmatics whose peak flow readings are uninformative or even paradoxical?

    1. Hi again, burviji, and thanks again for this question. You probably are aware that, during a pulmonary function test (PFT), the forced expiratory volume (FEV) maneuver is provided with readings generally at 1 second, 2 seconds and 3 seconds. The results reveal the degree of obstruction (if any) and help the physician to diagnose the disease as well as the severity of the disease, if it applies.
      I don't think of the peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) as being uninformative however, I think in your case, it's difficult to explain your somewhat unusual peak flow rates.
      I only wish there was more I was able to tell you, but this is what I understand about your questions.
      Wishing you well,
      Leon (site moderator

    2. Hi again, burviji - from my own personal and professional perspective, I don't see where these devices will provide anything different than the data provided by a properly administered pulmonary function test (PFT) study in a doctor's office.
      Should you find out anything further about this equipment, please do let us know.
      Good luck!
      Leon (site moderator

  4. Yes, but how often does one go for a PFT?

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