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Asthma UK community forum
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what is a very low peak reading for a 55y old

hi just been on a steroid inhaler for nealy a week and my peak flow this morning was 140 before inhaler twenty mins after it had gone up to 170 it has thus far peaked at 200 i know it has got to improve but wondered what the lowest it should go before i panic

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Hi,

A certain amount will depend on your height (gender and age also count), but 140 would be low for me (I'm 55, female and 5ft 3ins tall). In fact that would be less than 50% of what is considered normal for me.

If I recall correctly you are very new to all this and have only recently (about a week ago) acquired a peak flow metre, so at this stage it's going to be hard to know what is 'normal' for you (and even between individuals of the same age, gender and height there will be some variation).

My 'normal' PF rate is 390 and I was once told by my GP that she would start to get twitchy if it dropped to below 80% of what was normal (so anything below 310 in my case). But bear in mind that my asthma is well controlled; you I think, have only just been put on steroid inhalers.

It is not unusual for peak flow rates to be lower than usual in the morning but 140 is really low. How is your asthma feeling? If you are having problems and it's not too late today I would contact your GP at once. If your GP practice has already closed ring 111.

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it is now at abought 200 yes i am only being diagnosed as yet hence the steroid inhaler i an 54 same hight as you and yes overweight 13 and 1/2 to 14 stones this has come down from 14 and 1/2 seem to be able to do up to twenty mins of moderate house work or exercise wear a mask for doing the ponys and any diy but end up coughing and swetting cobs after this time surgery already closed breathing is hardish and chest a little tight but i would not say im getting no to little air in it is just the cough that seems to make it very difficult to the point of dry retching sorry to be graphic

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Being overweight won't be helping you and it's good that your weight is going down. Have you had any advice from your GP or asthma nurse to help with this?

As I said, if things get difficult between now and tomorrow morning (when you could contact your local surgery) you could try ringing 111.

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docter aint much cop lol but im due to go back to the asthma nurse in three weeks with my peek readings

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At a PFV of 150 I would be in resus, you should have a management plan to work too, this give advise from your asthma nurse at what stage you must take action, but in the short term go to A&E to up your peak flow then make appointment with your asthma nurse, or Doctor

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Just to check, are you using the peak flow meter correctly? My first go is always very low but I manage to meet my target on the second or third tries - doctor is always saying breath in as deeply as I can before exhaling into the meter with as much strength as I can muster!

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I am 62 and every 6 weeks my peak flow goes low, when it reaches 140 I take my preds which brings it back up to 210. I can only give you my experience, as for going to A&E all they will do is monitor you and give you steroids. It is amatter of keeping calm and knowing that the pills do work. I cycle quite well on PF of 170. hope this helps.

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i have not been given any pills just a steroid inhaler and a reliever . I am i believe in the process of being diagnosed but am trying to find information as forewarned is forearmed

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Best advice - don't panic! I've used this forum for several months following my diagnosis of asthma and it became pretty clear early on that peak flow is a very poor indicator of symptoms. Obviously, the more flow you can get the better, but I wouldn't get hung up on specific figures. It's all about how you feel, and if you're OK with a low flow level, then fair enough. If you are struggling, then you probably need some help. But I wouldn't press the panic button just because you've reached a theoretical low limit but still function perfectly well.

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