Frequently Asked Questions

Q - What is the Asthma Index?


Azma.com calculates each day an Asthma Index for all zip codes in the U.S. This exclusive process combines timely, accurate data for pollen, air quality, and other factors to produce a simple numeric indication of the severity of asthma conditions in your area. In addition to the current day's index, Azma.com provides a 4 day forecast, allowing you to plan your activities with confidence!

Q - What do the levels in the Asthma Index mean?


The Asthma Index is on a scale from 0 to 12. The levels are defined as follows:

Low: Asthma levels between 0 and 2.4 tend to affect very few individuals among the asthma-suffering public.

Low-Medium: Asthma levels between 2.5 and 4.8 tend to start affecting individuals extremely sensitive to the asthma airborne triggers.

Medium: Asthma levels between 4.9 and 7.2 will likely cause symptoms for many individuals who suffer from asthma or allergic to predominant pollen types of the season.

Med-High: Asthma levels between 7.3 and 9.6 tend to affect a large number of individuals who suffer from asthma.

High: Asthma levels between 9.7 and 12.0 tend to affect most individuals who suffer from asthma. Symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and trouble breathing may become more severe during days with high asthma levels.


Q - What do the levels given for Air Quality mean?


Air quality is reported with 5 values, as follows:

Good - Air quality is considered satisfactory, and air pollution poses little or no risk.

Moderate - Air quality is acceptable; however, for some pollutants there may be a moderate health concern for a very small number of people who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.

Poor - Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is not likely to be affected.

Unhealthy - Everyone may begin to experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.

Severe - Health alert: everyone may experience more serious health effects.


Q - What is Peak Flow Rate (PFR)?

The Peak Flow Rate (also know as Peak Expiratory Flow (PEF)) measures how fast a person can breathe out, or exhale. It is one of many tests that measures how well the lungs are working.

A good resource to explain this is detail can be found at the American Lung Association


Q - How is the expected range of Peak Flow Rate calculated?

Given a person’s gender, age, and height, there are generally accepted values of normal Peak Flow Rate. Articles such as this one discuss this in detail. Azma.com will calculate your Personal Best Peak Flow Rate based on this data. But of course this calculated value may not be correct for you, in which case you can set your own Personal Best Peak Flow Rate on the Profile page.

Peak Flow Rates are then classified into 3 zones of measurement according to the American Lung Association; green, yellow, and red.


Q - How do I add an Entry to My Diary?


First click on the day on the calendar that you want to enter.
Here is entry form:

You can enter for the AM and PM timeframes. So first select the button for AM or PM. Then you can enter your PFR that you measured for that time. You may also check off symptoms that you are having, and enter any mediciations that you have taken. Click the Save Your Entry button when done. If you need to change a value, simply change it and click the Save button again.

Note the chart at the bottom of the screen will not redraw itself after each entry. To view the updated chart at any time, click the Refresh Chart icon at the top left of the chart.


Q - How do I read My Diary Chart?


Here is a typical Diary Chart:

The blue line on the chart are your AM PFR values.

The purple line on the chart are your PM PFR values.

The horizontal black line is your Personal Best PFR.

The 3 colored zones on the chart are:

  • Green: 80 to 100 percent of your usual peak flow rate
  • Yellow: 50 to 80 percent of your usual peak flow rate
  • Red: Less than 50 percent of your usual peak flow rate

The chart shows you quickly how your Asthma has been acting over a time period, including how it changes from morning to evening.


Q - How do I read the Calendar on the My Diary page?


Here is a typical Diary Calendar:

For each day on the calendar, if you entered a PFR value for the AM, there will be a colored bar at the top of that day. And if you entered a PFR value for the PM, there will be a colored bar at the bottom.

The colors of those bars will be Green, Yellow, or Red; depending on which zone the PFR fell into.

So you can easily tell at a glance which days you have entered values for, and how severe your Asthma was for that day.


Q - Who provides Azma.com?


Azma.com is provided by IMS Health Incorporated.