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Asthma & Peak Flow

Hi there I am Nicola

I am new here but figured this would be the best place to discuss my problem.

I have had asthma since i was 14 I am now 29, the last time i went to the asthma nurse (Just moved doctors) she was skeptical as to whether I was asthmatic.

When she tested my peak flow I can hit it for someone my age and height which I told her I normally can do but I still feel tight chested and still have the cough etc but again she has made me doubt myself and my previous doctor. I think she is basing it on me hitting my peak flow.

She has put me on the Clenil Modulite inhaler again for me to manage it but does anyone else have this issue?


1 Reply

Peak flow is all about 'personal best' so within the last year, the highest number i have ever hit is 600. That means that even though my 'predicted best' is about 450 - we dont use that, because we know that i CAN get 600, so anything less that that means there is some airway obstruction. Then the normal markers are 75% (450 for me) 50% (300 for me) and 33% (198 for me) so about 75% is uaually ok, between 50-75% is the yellow zone where you should take reliever, often people start pred in the yellow zone persistantly or go to GP, below 50% is the red zone where you should seek emergency help (and in hospital 33% is used as the start of 'life threatening' attacks). These numbers however, are just a guideline. Many people can have severe attacks and still get a decent peak flow. You should always go on how you are feeling above anything else. A lot of medical professionals over rely on peak flow as they like the fact that it gives them a nice objective number to work on, but if you are struggling to breathe that matters more. Predicted peak flows are even worse as so many people get better than there predicted when they are well, predicted bests should ONLY be used if personal best isnt known!


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