It would seem that I’m going to have to start using a peak flow meter on a regular basis, at least until the pollen season is over. It’s a very simple device, actually; the best analogy I can come up with is to those “Hi Striker” carnival attractions in which you strike a platform with a mallet and try to hit the bell at the top of a pole. In this case, I blow as hard and as fast as I can (a book I looked at says it’s like trying to blow out as many candles as you can on a crowded birthday cake) into a mouthpiece on a plastic cylinder with a small round indicator that flies up to whatever level you achieve on a scale from 0 to 700. The optimal “flow” for someone of my age and height is 596. I make over 500 most of the time, but when I get an asthma attack, it drops off to the 400s or worse.