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  • Mild asthma sufferers, what’s your peak flow?
  • tpbiker
    Member

    I’ve had very mild asthma for a while now and recently got myself a peak flow meter. My peak flow seems consistently low, around 570, however when I take a puff on the inhaler it rises to around 620, which is what it should be for a healthy 44 year-old.

    Whilst 570 isn’t an issue, and presents no symptoms,I’m slightly concerned it’s constantly low which would perhaps indicate mild copd rather than asthma (and yes, i was a smoker until recently). I thought with asthma peak flow would be normal usually, only dropping down when having a reaction.

    Can anyone with very mild asthma tell me what their day to day peak flow is when their condition is stable, and does it go up when you take a puff of salbutamol. Would be useful to know before I waste the doctors time.

    Ta

    Jakester
    Member

    I have chronic asthma which fell under the recommended shielding group on Asthma UK’s webpage, so maybe not ‘mild’.

    I have always had consistently low peak flows – I’m always told it should be higher, even when fully controlled by medication. I often struggle to get over 500 but I don’t generally have day-to-day symptoms – the asthma nurse always tells me off for not trying hard enough.

    Having spoken to a specialist they said that like many ‘average’ things, some people will just fall either side of the average peak flows, so provided there isn’t a wild change between ‘normal’ and low when suffering an attack, it shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

    That said, I have struggled to get proper control for my asthma – the problems I had which got me referred to the specialist were basically that he said it wasn’t properly controlled by medication in the first place, so I may not be the ideal person to reply!

    tpbiker
    Member

    Is 500 after medication? That seems pretty high to be classed as ‘shielding’. I don’t even have symptoms when I exercise, unless I am suffering from hayfever.

    680 ish

    I can, however get it off the end of the scale by cheating.

    I don’t actually use it very often at all these days but i’ve been doing it long enough that I can fairly accurately predict what the reading will be when i’m asked to provide a reading for medical staff.

    Van Halen
    Member

    i`ve been having annual peak flow checks for 35years – i have no idea what my average peak flow is…

    my view is that if its not a problem day to day, why worry…

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    I always suffered with small lung capacity. It would take my mate 2 puffs to fill a baloon while I would need maybe 10!. Eventually after a period of breathing problems when I was in my early 40’s a new doctor immediately diagnosed me with asthma. I have never had a serious episode in my life but using the peak flow test for 3-4 weeks I was all over the place anywhere between 450 and 520, but never higher. I took the brown stabilizer for years then (still do when I remember) and have just tried a peak flow test and am now holding 600 on 3 consecutive tries. I would say that is the new norm now I have it under control.

    In the interest of science I’ve just had a puff on the blue inhaler so here goes…..

    wow… 640 (repeated so not a fluke)

    tpbiker
    Member

    640 (repeated so not a fluke

    Assume that’s after a puff of the blue one. Are you saying it’s 600 normally when using the brown inhaler, and was around 500 when you weren’t using it?

    680 ish

    Is that with no medication? Surely if so you don’t have asthma?

    Premier Icon welshfarmer
    Subscriber

    Yep, was around 500 when first identified as the problem. Was 600 now on reading your post, after ca. 15 years of preventer (Qvar). And was then 640 straight after a puff on the blue to see if it made a difference ref. your post above.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Mine is EIB, is as good as 770 on a good day, any infections or attacks and it can go as low as 400 or so.   I had my lung capacity measured 8 years ago at +14% over average.   Thats before I started training properly although I’ve always done sports and have a pigeon chest shape torso.

    Is that with no medication? Surely if so you don’t have asthma?

    No, that’s with right combination of medication.

    Over the last 48 years I’ve spent enough time in hospitals, on nebulisers, to convince me that I might have asthma.

    tpbiker
    Member

    Mine is EIB, is as good as 770 on a good day, any infections or attacks and it can go as low as 400

    So yours only flares up with exercise but is otherwise high?

    In non eib it sounds like it’s constantly low (without medication) judging by whst Welsh farmer says. Which mirrors my situation.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    In non eib it sounds like it’s constantly low (without medication) judging by whst Welsh farmer says. Which mirrors my situation.

    No the other way?   770 is very good when I’m healthy and fit e.g. now.   If I get a chest infection, hayfever or anything else that causes the EIB to flare up is very low.  The 400 – actually about 415 – was taken when I had a chest infection the morning after I had an actual asthma attack without exercise inducing it.  That was the day they told me I was going on record as Asthmatic cue a brown/blue inhaler.

    Edit: I thought I mights as well have a go – just blown 700 twice.

    tpbiker
    Member

    No the other way?

    Yours is eib which means it usually high…

    Non eib (ie welsh farmer) it sounds like (without treatment) it’s usually low.

    Premier Icon Kryton57
    Subscriber

    Yours is eib which means it usually high…

    I see what you’re saying, yes thats right, I’m not constricted until something induces an irritation…  usually heavy breathing, cold air, and a bronchial infection/irritation or any combo thereof.

    john_l
    Member

    Interesting. I don’t have asthma but my wife does and measures her peak flow most days.

    Whenever I’ve tried, I struggle to get to 400. Is that bad?

    Whenever I’ve tried, I struggle to get to 400. Is that bad?

    It’s not a competition.

    It’s all about monitoring what is normal for you and noting any changes.

    You could be a peak athlete and blow 400 every day but the day you blow 320 that’s when you know something is going awry.

    Conversely, you could be an overweight, unfit, lifelong, chronic asthmatic with extremely well managed medication and blow 680 every day.

    It’s about the pattern, not the score

    iolo
    Member

    I vary between 250 and 350 on a good day. Doesn’t really effect me too much. I take a spray twice daily.

    Premier Icon martinhutch
    Subscriber

    620 sounds reasonable for 44-year-old who has smoked until recently.

    I have more severe asthma, and blow 550 when clear (50 year old) , but I’d consider that ‘reasonably’ well managed. However, the dosage of drugs I take places me in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ shielding category.

    To be honest, the number means very little compared to the actual symptoms you experience – if you are having asthma attacks, wheezing at night or in the morning, or you feel constricted and limited in your activity, that would be more of an issue.

    Just pulled the PFM off the shelf to check. Feeling a tad congested, no riding for a few days – 500.

    EDIT: Just for you, took a couple of blasts of salbutamol and had a hack – up to 550 again.

    I’m slightly concerned it’s constantly low which would perhaps indicate mild copd

    COPD is a loose definition for a bundle of chronic respiratory problems – persistent wheeze/breathlessness plus perhaps a phlegmy cough, and a tendency to get chest infections. This doesn’t seem to fit your description of ‘no symptoms’, but if you are worried that some aspect of your asthma is not well-controlled, go see your GP and see if a different drug might improve things. There are quite a few options these days.

    Premier Icon reluctantjumper
    Subscriber

    Been classed as a mild asthmatic most of my life. Peak flow is usually around the 500 mark, can get up to 570 if I hit the inhaler on a good day. The docs were a little worried about 15-odd years ago that I couldn’t get above 450 even with full medication that they put me forward for a study of lung shape and volume in asthmatics which meant I got got go in a full-body scanner after having to inhale on a mask that put a coloured dye all over the lung lining. The resulting 3D model showed I had massive lungs but in a shape that meant I couldn’t contract the muscles fast enough to get a high flow rate. I think the figure was 36% larger than normal!

    Still crap at blowing up balloons, struggle to get them going.

    tpbiker
    Member

    Do those that have mild asthma ever have proper attacks? I’ve never had an attack as such but sometime I feel I’m not breathing as efficiently as I should be. That about as bad as it gets usually

    kentishman
    Member

    I have mild asthma and at the start I didn’t take my preventer as regularly as I should because I felt fine most of the time. But then I would have the odd attack that knocked me for six. I learnt my lesson though and since then have taken my medication every day even if I feel fine I’ve had no issues.
    Oh flow is over 600.

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