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Asthma UK community forum
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Diagnosis using peak flow diary and reliever


Following on from my initial post, where I was awaiting spirometery test and a xray, I got my results. My xray was clear and the spirometery results quite good, nearly matching the forecast graph. The only downside was a lung age reading 8 years older than me. So no COPD or tumors etc., leaving asthma as a more likely cause of my breathlessness and wheezing at times. So the nurse and doc have suggested keeping a peak flow diary, to record scores before and after using a reliver twice a day.

I found some links on here to a peak flow forecast, but they didnt work. I found this which has a forecast chart on the second page. rcht.nhs.uk/DocumentsLibrar...

I know everyone is different so not to put too much emphasis on those numbers, but interesting as a starting point, until I get my own averages.

So that forecast is about 600 for me. I'm finding I'm around 530 before inhaler and around 640 after. I guess a difference of that order is significant. Comparing to others numbers on these forums these look quite good, but still the inhaler makes a difference so maybe I'm a mild asthmatic. I should say I have been mostly indoors and not had anything agitating me since starting the diary a few days ago.

My inhaler technique needs work, mostly firing onto my tongue, forgetting to shake it, timing etc. Also not sure how long to leave after the inhaler before doing the 'after' peak flow test.

I'm off out now on the coldest day for some time and I have a massive steep hill to walk up, then working outside, so will have reliver with me and see how I go.

5 Replies

Hi, peak flows are very individual things.

As for your inhaler technique, have you tried using a spacer? That can make it much easier.


Thanks beth. I have lots to learn!


I also thought spacer. From experience I have realised that ventolin works so much better/goes where it is needed with a spacer. I had been issued with one the standard big ones - not easy to take with you - so I got myself an Aerochamber, over the counter at the pharmacy. NHS do prescribe them as well. An Aerospacer is much more compact and thus easier to carry around with you.

1 like

id suggest using a spacer and seeing the asthma nurse to check yr inhaler techniques so you are using it properly so getting the best from yr inhaler. Good luck 😊


Thanks all, I'm getting better at it, I find I need to angle the inhaler a bit to fire over my tongue. I'll practise, see how I get on and think about a spacer.

I made it up the hill without getting any more out of breath than 'someone normal' ! Maybe it was a good day.

Still averaging peak flow 520 before inhaler and 620 after. I wonder what kind of difference others get? I might post just that question.


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