Asthma UK community forum
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Good peak flow but having worsening symptoms?

Hi there,

Apologies if this sounds like a dumb question but is it possible to have a good peak flow reading but still be feeling tight chested and a little wheezy?

I've felt my symptoms get worse over the last few days and I can't make up my mind if it is due to the weather changes we've had recently, the pollution/pollen or just because I reduced my inhaler intake (because I was feeling fine and peak flow was excellent).

I take an inhaler that is a preventer and long acting bronchilater so not sure whether this is masking worsening symptoms and helping to keep my peak flow up? Hoping it's just a bad week for asthma/hayfever. What are other people's experiences with these types of inhalers?


3 Replies

Yes, it's possible - it's happened to me. You have my sympathy; it can be very frustrating. You know things aren't right, but your peak flow seems to be saying you're fine.

It could be a combination of things; you may have been unlucky in that you felt fine, reduced your medication and then the weather/pollution changes happened and caught you out. There again, you might be brewing an infection or it could be down to reflux. The last happened to me three years ago. I got very tight, had a cough, sounded hoarse, but my peak flow was fine. Taking relievers helped a little - but not much. What was really confusing was that the pattern of flare ups was atypical for me: doing exercise actually improved things whereas having a meal often made things worse. Eventually, in desparation, I went to the doctor. I didn't see my usual GP, I saw a locum, but he noticed that I had a history of gastro paresis on my medical notes. Given the atypical pattern he suggested that the problem might be stomach related and put me on lansoprasole for a month. It worked!

I don't have a long acting bronchodilator: I use flixotide and ventolin. I used to have a long acting bronchodilator (serevent) to use alongside my preventer if I needed it. It didn't work for me, but from what I have read on the forum I suspect I might have been unusual in that. Perhaps you should go back to the dose of medication you were taking before you reduced it, and it that doesn't work make an appointment with your GP,


Thanks, Maggie.

It's useful to know there may be other factors to cause tight chest etc. I don't think reflux is the current cause as I've been a little better today. I thought I may be coming down with another cold but nothing has come of that either. It rained yesterday and the air seems fresher, also took more preventer which seems to have helped. Still got wheezy taking my daughter for a nap time walk so putting it down to pollen levels for now!


Hi, yes I experience the same problem. For a while now my chest feels incredibly tight & uncomfortable, although i feel better when i exercise. No wheeze, cough or coughing up yucky stuff yet my peak flow is high (700-800) all the time with little variability. Been to doctors twice and on each occasion when they see the peak flow reading, they more or less dismiss me saying that I have large lungs with very sensitive airways . I used to be on Seretide for many years but was moved to Qvar 18 months ago. I feel pretty rough and know the answer is to keep going back to GP and challenging them but I don't have the energy or time to keep making appointments and then being fobbed off. Hope you feel better soon!


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