Obstruction to air flow is commonly as a result of chronic bronchitis or emphysema. These are late manifestations of smoking and can be very distressing.
A majority of middle aged smokers will have chronic bronchitis.
Asthma is also characterised by an increased obstruction to the flow of air through the lungs.
Many asthmatics are poorly controlled. They tend to have low expectations for their breathing.
The peak flow rate is measured by blowing into a simple machine through a cardboard tube. It is not the amount of breath that is measured but the speed at which it is expelled. Therefore it is important to give a hard but short puff.
The PFR normally varies with the gender, age and size of the person. This has to be taken into account when determining the significance of any particular reading.(5)
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