Normal peak flow


I was recently diagnosed with asthma. It was a surprise because I don't have a wheeze. Anyway, I'm a bit confused about 'normal' peak flow. Apparently, 440 is normal for my age (27) and height (165cm). Prior to starting treatment, I was blowing about 150 and now I'm averaging about 280-300. I'm not due a review for another week. I'm not sure about if I'm aiming for 440 or if I'm doing ok? I still feel really short of breath. However, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and my consultant is a bit concerned that I have an underlying Rheumatoid related lung disease. I'm waiting for further tests.

Thanks in advance. :)

14 Replies

  • I'm no expert on asthma as I have COPD, but I just compare myself with myself - if my peak flow is low (240 to 270) something's up I need to sort, and if it's around the top of my range (350 to 380) I must be taking the inhalers correctly. Hopefully someone will be along soon to say a bit more.

  • Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it.

  • Hi crashdoll and welcome.

    I would imagine it would be unusual to reach the 'normal' peak flow with lung issues. You might want to telephone BLF nurses - click on red balloon at top for number. So sorry you have asthma and RA. What tests are they going to do and have you had a ct scan.

    Good luck with all your tests - please let us know how you get on.


  • Hello, thank you.

    I've had a chest x-ray and I'm awaiting the results. I've got an appt at the respiratory clinic for lung function tests in September. I'm not sure quite what these entail. I'm also having an ECHO in a fortnight, due to a heart murmur, which may or may not be related.

    The breathing issues have been going on for ages but it's only in recent weeks that I've dramatically worsened, so things are finally moving in the right direction.

    I did phone the helpline and got some advice. :)

  • Hello Crashdoll I was diagnosed with asthma in January, it takes a few weeks for the doctors to find the correct balance of drugs to help you, I do not wheeze but have a dry cough, also I am old enough to be your grandma so I do not think it wise for me to compare readings. I did phone the helpline and found them very helpful and informative. I am so sorry that you have developed this rotten thing, but this site is really helpful and informative. Sending you a very gentle hug and hope this has been a bit helpful :-)

  • Thank you, starveycat. I was reassured by the helpline that it's early days and as I said above, I'm still in the process of undergoing tests, so we don't have all the answers yet.

  • Hi Crashdoll. I have Lupus/UCTD overlap and with it I have developed non-specific breathing difficulties in the past couple of years. I neither have nor do not have asthma according to my Consultant (?) but I do have weakness and shadows on my lungs so have inhalers which do seem to help my breathing. I am older than you at 48 but am fitter and more active than many - I walk 5 miles daily at speed and have a BMI of 18. My peak flow should be 450+ according to the literature but in reality is only 230 - 250 at best. This is my norm and it doesn't vary much. Spirometry can give you much more information and is part of Lung Function Tests which I'm sure you will be having. I hope you get to the bottom of your resp issues, mine seem to be stable now that my treatment has been adjusted. Best wishes. Clare

  • Thank you for your reply, Clare. I spoke to GP today who feels I don't have asthma and that he would expect any lung condition to respond to the treatment I'm on.

    I'm still breathless going up and down stairs and coughing all night long, feel horribly unhealthy. I hope I just need time.

  • Hello and Welcome!

    My best peak flow is 350 I have absolutely no idea what normal would be for me but I am great - and better than a lot of "healthy" people with no lung condition at that level. However at the moment my peak flow is down under 300 as I have an infection so almost on constant antibiotics to try and rid myself of this infection to get back up to my best. Did they tell you to keep a peak flow diary? You should find a piece of graph paper in the carton with the peak flow machine and you could plot your peak flow - if you are on any inhaler sit should get better after taking them. I would suggest doing this for a while to see if you have any specific times when your peak flow is worse or better which may give your Doc and/or consultant something to go on.

  • Yes, I have been keeping a peak flow diary. I have been writing it down, I didn't see the graph but I shall have a look right now!

  • You've doubled it in a short time and that is a good sign. Your Drs now need to see what medication is best for you but have a 'baseline' so to speak to go on.

    Much luck


  • Thank you.

  • Mine is on the back of the instructions - the graph paper that is.

  • Thank you, I found it. :)

You may also like...