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Peak flow; wrong technique?!

Sorry for so many posts, but now I'm worried the reason my peak flow never lowers is because I've been recording it wrong. Or at least I think I have? The only way I can describe my mistake is that I breath out using my "throat" instead of letting my chest sink in. Sorry if that sounds vague, but is it enough to say I've been exhaling wrong when taking measurements. When I tried exhaling more from my chest, my peak flow dropped by almost 200 points! Usually it's 700 - 600, even when I feel bad, but now I feel like it should be lower, especially during symptoms.

I can only hope I'm being paranoid.

3 Replies

Also my head seems to move slightly forwards when I exhale; is that normal, or a sign I'm doing it wrong?


It's difficult to describe the technique in writing but if you search on Google or YouTube there's plenty of videos to show you the correct technique.

You could also make an appointment with a practice nurse, or even ask at the pharmacy who will usually show you.


I would check with your asthma nurse if you are worried about your technique. However, having said this, I have a really good peak flows (about 620-630 best) and for a woman my size it should be around 500! Once, having a particularly bad attack, my peak flow in A&E was 450. The nurse said, that's really good, and yet I was blacking out from lack of air. Have you ever played a wind or brass instrument by any chance? My asthma nurse said that the reason I get good peak flows is that I used to play the flute and French horn. Also, I read that if the asthma affects your small airways instead of your large airways, that may lead to better peak flows because you can still get air into the large airways. Anyway, I have always hated peak flow because it doesn't seem to go with how I feel. It is good for most asthmatics, but not for all. Hope this helps.


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