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Cold virus and amber peak flow: should I call nurse?

Hi there,

This is the fourth day of my peak flow being mostly amber with today and yesterday only reaching the 80% line with 4x puffs of ventolin and about an hour and a half after taking it, the effect has warn off. My PEF doesn't seem to be rapidly dropping, so I've been avoiding taking my reliever because I don't like the side effects.

I have been taking my Fostair 100/6 2 puffs twice a day.

My PEF has been in the top half of the amber and I also have asthma symptoms, but not an emergency asthma attack.

Almost two weeks ago, I had an attack where I should have called an ambulance. I didn't take my PEF but the next day it was approximately 60% of best, rising to the bottom of green by evening. It happened on a Friday, so on Monday I called my nurse but was feeling better and my PEF just in the normal band so we agreed I didn't need to come in.

About 5 weeks ago, I took a course of prednisone for increasing symptoms and four days/3 doses into the course went to out of hours but by the time my appointment rolled around I was fine (albeit having maxed out of ventolin dose) and the doctor suggested I should distract myself instead of taking ventolin but apparently wrote that I had a virus. (This advise, incidentally is how I wound up having the attack above.)

I'm visiting family for a week in January and will be taking a plane, so I don't want an attack that might make me miss my flights.

However, I don't want to waste everyone's time if it's just because of my cold and will clear up naturally in few days.

4 Replies

if you are unsure and your symtoms are persisting, its better to be safe then sorry and get checked out.


I made a call, but the nurse wasn't there and I didn't want to bother a doctor. In the morning, my PEF was on 340 (80%) but by noon was back to 290. I decided it was too late in the day, since I said I'd phone back tomorrow and am just going to wait it out.

My wife now has the same bug and has a slight cough, so I'm hopeful it will right itself.

Thank you for your reply.


When I go into tightness and my Ventolin does not work I try Buteyko.

my tips I learned are

1 always breath through nose

2 use a nasal wash (saline solution)

3 use a spacer


Unfortunately, I have a near permenently blocked nose and my cold has made it worse so I'm pretty limited to mouth breathing at the moment. I usually try to use the breathing exercises I learnt for anxiety/dissociation - mainly because they're the only ones I know.

I'll try it out once I'm less stuffed up.

I do use a spacer - I hadn't for years and was given one 5 weeks ago. It's definitely better for side effects and... not spraying it all over the inside of my mouth instead of getting to my lungs.


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