When using Aluna, it’s important that you understand your FEV1% and how it is an indicator of lung health for those with obstructive lung diseases. Your FEV1% is calculated by comparing your forced expiratory volume (FEV1) score to the predicted value for your age, sex, and size.
The raw FEV1 score alone would not give the insight doctors need. After all, it wouldn’t make sense to compare the results of an 8-year old child against those of a 30-year old adult.
To further understand how FEV1% is used to monitor asthma and other lung conditions, let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
What is FEV1?
Simply put, FEV1 “is the maximum amount of air you can forcefully blow out of your lungs in one second.” People can measure this output of air using a spirometer, either in a doctor’s office or at home, using a portable device like Aluna.
With regular use, the data collected from a portable spirometer can predict the likelihood of an asthmatic event. For example, if a decrease in FEV1% correlates to either hot or cold weather extremes, then you know that weather is one of your triggers. This is especially helpful for those with asthma, childhood asthma, and occupational asthma patients.
FEV1 scores can also be used to monitor Cystic Fibrosis patients but they are not used solely to diagnose certain conditions such as obstructive pulmonary disease COPD. COPD requires an additional measurement of forced vital capacity (FVC). Doctors need an FEV1/FVC ratio in order to monitor COPD patients.
Why Doctors Rely on FEV1%
The results of the FEV1 are particularly useful for people with asthma when comparing the FEV1 score with current standards or expected values based on a healthy person, along with gender, height, and race. By comparing your FEV1 with the general standard, a doctor can diagnose asthma and prescribe asthma medication for treating asthma.
Mobile apps, like Aluna, also allow you to track symptoms of asthma and asthma triggers. This gives doctors even more insight when developing asthma treatments.
What Is a Good FEV1%?
While average numbers provide insight and comparisons, remember that your spirometry tests are specific to you. Consequently, a normal score for someone else’s lungs may not be normal for yours.
Generally speaking, a normal FEV1% falls around the 80% line. Anything above 80% suggests normal or healthy breathing, while scores below 80% indicate the beginnings of lung problems.
That said, your normal score might be closer to 70%. Your doctor will let you know what to look for when taking your lung tests. Always trust your doctor before trusting the averages.
How Can Spirometry Benefit You?
Spirometry has no side effects and can benefit both children and adults. Understanding your FEV1% in relation to certain triggers could provide the opportunity to proactively manage an attack. This could reduce your need for rescue medications and the number of trips you make to the doctor’s office.
Whether you suffer from asthma, cystic fibrosis, or another chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, you can gain control by monitoring your lung health. Spirometry provides you with the opportunity to fight back. Take control of your health and talk to your doctor about pulmonary function tests and the Aluna portable spirometer.