New diagnosis of asthma

Hi I was recently diagnosed with asthma, and I have to admit to being a bit confused really. I'm due to see my GP in a few weeks time but I hoped you might be able to give me some answers.

My personal best peak flow is 610L/min which is much better than my predicted 500L/min, I tend to start feeling symptomatic when my peak flow is between 450-500l/min but according to most charts thats a normal reading. When peak flow is expressed as a percentage of my personal best it seems to make more sense, but I've been lead to believe that this was aimed at people who's best peak flow is lower than their predicted. Could someone help to clarify this please.

I don't have an asthma action plan yet, should I be asking for one even though my symptoms aren't under control yet, or should I wait until it's stable. I've never had a proper asthma attack as (so far) my symptoms have always responded to Ventolin, should I still have asthma attack card?

Lastly, my preventer Clenil Modulite 100mcg (2 puffs twice a day through and aerochamber plus spacer) makes me cough and feel breathless, so I need to take my Ventolin before I can take my Clenil. I've stuck with it for a couple of weeks as I'm not used to taking inhalers so hoped I might get used to it, is it okay for to continue using my reliever before I take the preventer until my review in a few weeks or should I be contacting my GP for an alternative?

Thanks

7 Replies

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  • Hi there,

    I too am newly diagnosed, and like you am finding things a bit confusing - like being told to see a dr about symptoms that until 2 weeks ago I just put up with. As I understand it, it's not so much the level of peak flow that determines things, but the variation from your usual/best - although feel free to correct me if I'm wrong people!

    I have the same problem with Clenil, and was using the Ventolin with it in the same way as you. However, since I got a bigger spacer (the volumatic one) I find that it is much less of a problem - perhaps it would be worth asking for one when you see the dr?

    I've not got an action plan or anything, I assume they'll talk to me about that when I see the asthma nurse this afternoon.

    I'm sure one of the more established members here will be able to answer better than me.

    P xx

  • Hello there,

    I'm new to asthma too (3 months or so) and new to the forums - you'll find lots of nice helpful people here.

    Peak Flow seems to be a movable feast - my PB is about 650 (and I am a 5ft5 woman!) but my worst is around 450 (which is meant to be pretty good...) and yet I am on step 3, treatment-wise. It's all about how it is for you individually.

    If you're confused about anything people here are good, it might help you think of a list of things to ask next time you're at the doctor's or seeing the nurse. It's certainly helped me.

    Good luck!

  • Hi there, and welcome. I am new to Asthma too, only diagnosed in June 2010.

    As the others have said, this site and the people on the forum are fantastic in offerring great advice and putting your mind at ease, and the helpline is really useful especially, if like me, you worry your pestering the GP/asthma nurse!!

    I too worried about peak flow to start with, my predicted is 430L/min yet my personal best is 550L/min. I can feel bad with a normal peak flow and can feel fine at 73% of my personal best. I've given up worrying now, I monitor in a morning and evening as this can show the sawtooth effect which shows you don't have good control. If I have symptoms, I ignore peak flow, symptoms are more important to me.

    I haven't yet got an action plan yet although I'd like one sorting tomorrow when I see the asthma nurse but only as I'm going on holiday next week, other than that I'd have probably wait until its under control. I've not had an 'asthma attack' either but there is always potential for this to happen so it would make sense to carry an asthma attack card. I'm sure your first asthma attack will be the scariest which could lead to panic, so anything you can do to prepare now will be best to do.

    I don't know how long you should continue taking your Ventolin before your Clenil, maybe you could ring the helpline?

    I hope you soon get your asthma under control, I am still working my way up the list to get some kind of hold on it. Unfortunately it seems it can be sometimes a long battle and I've read adult onset asthma is more difficult to control, but you will find a medication which suits you.

    One thing I'd mention though, is that you may find your asthma gets worse since diagnosis, thats what I found and I know a few others have too. I guess its because you've lived with your symptoms so don't think any different then sudddenly you realise its not normal.

    Feel free to PM me if you want to chat.

    Good Luck!

  • hi, its prob best not to worry too much about what other peoples peak flow is as its personal to you and your health,size,frame etc. for example i would be very pleased if i could get my best peak flow to your best as mine normally around 250ish, but some may need to be seen at hospital at this level....also your gp or asthma nurse will help you sort out an action plan so you know when to take inhalers, when to visit them or when to go directly to a + e. they should also be able to offer you help with getting the correct inhalers if you feel yours arent working. maybe you could have a good look at the info on this site as its really good. hope you feel a bit more settled with the diagnosis soon x

  • hi, its prob best not to worry too much about what other peoples peak flow is as its personal to you and your health,size,frame etc. for example i would be very pleased if i could get my best peak flow to your best as mine normally around 250ish, but some may need to be seen at hospital at this level....also your gp or asthma nurse will help you sort out an action plan so you know when to take inhalers, when to visit them or when to go directly to a + e. they should also be able to offer you help with getting the correct inhalers if you feel yours arent working. maybe you could have a good look at the info on this site as its really good. hope you feel a bit more settled with the diagnosis soon x

  • Thanks for all your replies!

    Hi I saw my GP again today, she swapped me to a pulmicort turbohaler and she's gonna see me again in a couple of weeks to see how I get on. I decided not to ask about the asthma plan yet as I haven't been stabilised so I'm sure if I did deteriorate the likely hood is she'd want to see me anyway, so I'll ask once my meds are sorted.

  • Hi, I'm also newly diagnosed. All the advice you have been given so far is good - the meds take a while to get right but do not be worried about going back to your Dr or Asthma nurse if you are unhappy or not feeling quite right. As others have said, go by your symptoms and get to know your own asthma. It affects us all differently and you have to learn how to read your own body and work out your what you can and can't do. Also give yourself time to come to terms with the idea of having a long term medical condition. Take care Sonja.

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