Asthma is a long-term disease of the respiratory system that affects your airways. Airways are the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs. It is a disorder that causes shortness of breath. The severity of symptoms can vary from person to person. Doctors can classify asthma in different levels of severity which can be monitored with a peak flow meter (PEF). A peak flow meter is a small, plastic, tube like device that you carry with you. It measures how well air moves out of your lungs. The mild intermittent level is where symptoms occur twice a week or less, nighttime symptoms occur twice a month or less, asthma attacks last a few hours to a few days with varying intensity and you may have no symptoms between attacks, and PEF reading variability of less than 20%. The mild persistent level is when asthma symptoms occur twice or more but not everyday, nighttime symptoms occur more than twice a month, asthma attacks may slow daily activities, and PEF reading variability of 20% to 30%. The moderate persistent level is where asthma symptoms occur daily, you use the quick relief medicines daily, nighttime symptoms occur more than once a week, asthma attacks occur twice a week or more and get in the way of daily activities, and the PEF reading variability of more than 30%. The severe persistent level is... [continues]
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