Peak Flow Readings

I wonder if anyone can help me.

A few years back I was diagnosed with asthma and was give a reliever inhaler for when I exercise. Now Ive not exercised for a while nor had I had any reviews. Recently Ive noticed my chest has felt very tight, all across the back and at the front (by the ribs). Also Ive been having trouble keeping my breathing pattern calm. I couldnt work out whether it was anxiety or the asthma. My breathing was so bad that I would panic and feel physically sick. On one of the days I took my reliever inhaler, first time in about a year and in about 30 mins I noticed my breathing was quite calm and when I took a deep breath through my nose it felt like I was getting more air than normal.

I already had an asthma review and saw the nurse earlier. She mentioned the possiblity of starting me on the preventer inhaler (brown one). She took my peak flow over 3 times and she said it was 300. I asked what it should be and she said it would be 478 predicted. Ive been trying to look online to see what it should be. Im a female 25 years old and 5ft 2. The Peak Flow website isnt working for me, and all the others differ.

I now have to record my peak flow for 2 weeks and see the nurse again.

Any info or help would be appreciated. Many thanks

5 Replies

  • Peak flow readings

    Hi Smile

    Hope your felling better I have had asthma since i was five and am now 28 with serve brittle astma and take my peak flow reading regualy i am on lots off medication sounds like you could do with a preventer. If your nurse perscribes you onwe take it as prescriped even if your well. A little tip here always have a drink after your inhealers has this will help stop you from getting a dry mouth or oral thursh.

    take care


  • Hi Smile

    I have a really good peak flow normally, according to the charts I should be about six foot and male, which is funny as I am 5 foot 7.5 and female!

    My advice would be to ignore the numbers that sites tell you that you should be, and get to know your own levels. It's usual for mine to be over 550, so if I drop below 400 I am in some trouble, and I have been as low as 150 (which was a trip to hospital and oral steroids) so I would not get too hung up about what you should be, it's like height weight charts - they are bonkers too!

    I would keep monitoring, and you'll soon work out what is good and bad for you.

    Hope this helps

    Love Sarah x

  • Update

    Thanks for both of your replies and advice.

    Just curious really, I guess Im still trying to work out what is anxiety and what isnt.

    With regards to peak flow readings. From what Ive read your readings would be lower in the morning, Im finding mine is higher in the mornings and lower in the daytime/evenings.

    Ive not had a tight chest this week, but when Ive felt my breathing go out of sync, Ive taken my inhaler and noticed how calm I feel after a short while. Now is it possible that Im having anxiety that is causing my breathing to alter. The thing is I dont know why I would be anxious. Ive used my inhaler a few times today without the tight chest and I can still feel a difference in my breathing.

  • Have you read the factfile on asthma and anxiety (go to 'All about asthma' and then factfiles)? It has info about distinguishing between asthma, a panic attack and when it is a bit of both! I definitely can get anxious when my asthma/breathing is bad I think that most of us do occasionally.

    Peak flows are normally lower in the mornings. I find that mine is low when I first get up, then goes up and peaks at midday and then goes down again. Sometimes it is lower in the evenings than first thing in the morning. I think this is common (my consultant once showed my peak flow chart to some junior doctors as an example of a typical 'asthma day').

    Could it be that you are coming into contact with something/doing something in the day that is irritating your lungs?

    Take care


  • Hi again

    I have noticed a common theme that happens when my breathing goes funny, which leads me to feel sick, then panic a bit.

    I find that when I talk it can trigger it off, not in the sense that I fear talking at all. For example I work in a customer facing environment and it is part of my role to talk to customers, if we dont follow it then we can fail certain things. This doesnt concern me, but it means in a shift I do not get a break from talking. When I went out for lunch with a friend I was talking and the breathing went, then the feeling sick etc. Ive just noticed this has happened many times before. I also find that when my breathing gets funny I tend to yawn a lot, taking in quite a lot of air than I would by just breathing normally.

    During the day I usually work, do some shopping etc. I do have some stress aswell. My asthma nurse did suggest I could be breathing in household products at work, which could be triggering things.

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