Asthma UK community forum

peak flows again... sorry!! just dunno wot to do for best

just 3 questions....

1. which is better option - vitalography asma 1 or piko 1 :S ????

2. can u get either one on prescription in london ?? maybe worth asking my gp if i can, hmmm... ?

3. also i have noticed, when my peak flow is quite okay (70% and above) it can be quite misleading as i can still feel quite pooey, can be very SOB and wheezy. so when i go costa and do my peak flow- have actually been asked y i am there as they go by my pf and nothing else, but THEN my chest sounds awful. pf doesnt reflect other clinical findings ? mentioned it to cons thurs. he had no comment to make. just nodded. just said few asthmatics have said the same.

then the opposite on the odd occasion, my pf has been down 260-300 and i feel quite tite but otherwise okay ?? anyone else feel like that ? then obviously -> costa!!

any thoughts

x x x

thanks for any advice

x x x

9 Replies

any ideas guys ?



I don't really take much notice of my PF these days as my best is around 185! I do check it if I am not well. though sometimes it can be really naff but I am not too bad. I, and my consultant go on other symptoms now. Though I do have to make a real effort when trying to escape hosp if it isn't my consultant discharging me.

Not tried electronic PF meters.... I stick to my low range one.

Hope this helps abit!




haha yip it does thanks kate. i think i will stick to my non-tech one!! lol.

pf certainly bit down at the mo... grrr!!! be nice to hit my best every one in a while, or even close to it...

x x


My pf doesn't always drop when I'm symptomatic. My consultant seems to think it's because of my rather heroic lung function (apparently more befitting an athlete), saying that people with PFs and spirometry as good as mine are often able to maintain their peak flow for longer.

I don't think the vitalograph asma 1 is prescribable on the nhs as it's not in the drug tariff (at least I couldn't find it anyway), but I believe that technically the Piko-1 can be prescribed. In reality most surgeries will not prescribe the Piko-1 as it's more expensive, and since the mechanical ones work perfectly well there's no rational to waste the practice budget on something that doesn't have a clear advantage over its cheaper counterparts. There's also the fact that readings do vary between meters so often GPs/asthma nurses like you to have the same type of meter that they use in the surgery.

So no real advice but hopefully my explanation makes sense.



1)Not sure which is better but have ordered the Piko1. Went for the size as easier when out of the house and lower price. Just spotted there is a digital miniwright peak flow meter version too which is the standard nhs issue manual one.

2)The Piko1 is in the BNF but down to local practice to decide if they will prescribe it which mine won't.

3) Also find peak flow doesn't always reflect how lungs feel, similar to what you say but haven't needed costa visits


Not sure about answers to questions 1 and 2.

Question 3 - I have a few ideas! I sometimes find that I feel a bit bad but my peak flow is normal ish for me, but then a while later it will start to fall. Also I find that if I have been well and my peak flow drops suddenly (e.g. after overdoing in the pool) I can cope much better than when I have had a cold and had rubbish peak flows for a while. My dad (he's a GP) says that a peak flow of 200 will always feel much worse on the way back up, than on the way down! - I would definitely agree with this. Also fitness will make a big difference!

If it makes you feel better I have had a similar experience in A&E. My peak flow was 50% but was really struggling. After 4 or so nebs it was lower than before! so I was admitted. Not sure what that was all about. If in doubt it is always safer to get it checked out.

Are you starting to feel a bit better yet.

Take care



thasnks for all ur tips on qu 1 + 2 guys lol

bryony - starting to get better, certainly better after 6 hrs sleep!! yey!!

my pf best is 550, but due to exposure to dust and yet another chest inf and of course feeling pooey, pf down 250.. off to costa last nite, escaped this morning, pf 350 still though, grrr!!!

though contrary to what i wasa saying bout my pf not always reflecting how i feel, when pf was 250 i felt it, and yet now its 350 i support what i say as i dont think i feel pf 350 as even though thats still bout 65% normal i feel okayish, just SOB on exertion and getting tite and wheezy only when i have my usual coughing fits cos of the bloody chest infection!!!

the highest its been in last 6 weeks, on a good day is 400 and i long for the day when i can blow out the candles to at least 450 again :) yipee a yay!!


Peak flows are weird. My average at the minute is 350 max maybe ranging from 280-400 at best should be 500 but not felt like I need A&E.


should defo not rely on pf alone, and go by instinct and symptoms as my asthma nurse + consultant agreed!

got told thurs, if pf down 2 days and symptomatic then A+E (and increase pred to max dose) unless obviously acute SOB etc.. which is y i was in costa last nite till this morning...



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