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Should I be worried about my PF?

Currently I am taking no preventer. I was on Symbicort, but over one year ago after I did spirometry the consultant I saw took me off the Symbicort.

When I was taking Symbicort my PF was around 500. Now without a preventer it is around 400-450. The thing is, I generally feel fine at that level. Occasionally I feel tight chested or cough, but that's it. It's easy to think that I don't really get asthma anymore. But if I take Bricanyl because I feel a bit tight chested, after a while my PF will be up to 500 - much higher than my current 'normal' level. This afternoon before Bricanyl I was 420, and after 490 - about a 17% improvement.

I do lots of sport including running, and generally run without taking Bricanyl before. I sometimes cough when I stop, but I'm OK with that. Should I be worried that my PF is not as good as it could be if I actually feel fine at a lower level? I prefer to not take a preventer if I don't really need it.

2 Replies


i kind of depends on a few things - is your asthma really controlled and mild that you didnt need the prevention or could the drop in peakflow show that its not well controlled. I think you should discuss this with an asthma nurse as it could be ok if your asthma attack free without it.

I think its worth checking these things out while you have control of it because once its out of control its difficult to get it controlled without a selection of medicines. You may be avoiding a preventer (for me it was the fact it had a steroid in!) for whatever reason and then end up in a panic (like me) when it kicks off and its out of control. Just check it out to be on the safe side.


I've had my asthma this mild for months now - to me it is very well controlled without a preventer. It's the best it's been for twenty years, so I'm not sure what has happened, but I'm happy!

(Maybe what's happened is I now live in a house with no carpets or curtains, and I am much, much fitter than I was. EIA was a real problem for me.)

I had noticed that my 'normal' PF was lower, but since I'm OK ignored it - truly no cause for worry. I guess I'm surprised that while I feel OK it is possible for my PF to be better... The jump seems quite a lot to me, but I'm not expert! On the other hand - 400-450, my new normal is what's expected for somebody of my height / age (if I remember correctly).

I have taken plenty of preventers over the years, and obviously felt the benefit, so I'm not that bothered about the steroid component - it's just that I prefer to minimise taking things that aren't really necessary. If I ever start thinking it's getting out of control I will be going straight to the Dr! No asthma nurse where I live now (France) - only the Dr - which is something I miss.




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