British Lung Foundation
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Different peak flow scores from different meters?

Different peak flow scores from different meters?

I have these two peak flow meters. The left blue one can show readings up to 50 l/min higher than the right, and claims my highest peak flow is 760! (The other says 720)

Which is the more accurate meter? Can it be affected by anxiety? Also how low peak flow would be considered a worry for me?

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I wouldn't worry to much about it. I can only blow 140 on my metre. The other day I was at the resp clinic seeing my consultant. And I asked what stage my COPD was at. He asked if I wanted the American version or the uk. He gave me both the. uk I am moderate and the American I am severe. But he dosnt go by them it's how you feel

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I have two different peak flow meters and they show different readings....and the meter at my GP surgery gives another reading again.

It depends on your age, sex and height. You should check with your practioner to find out how low your reading should fall before you need help.

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Apparantly the average peak flow for my height and age is 650 so 700+ seems a bit excessive! Should I just trust the red meter as it's more common?

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Yes l would just trust the red one. That's the one I have.

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I didnt even know people could blow over 700 GG. These little meters only give a vague idea, so 50 either way, especially up in the 700s, isn't really significant. They are useful for measuring trends, so you can see if your PF is less (or more) than usual.

Mine shows a figure around 100 higher than the surgery one does. Ive got another which shows lower, so I only use the first one as it makes me happy :) I still get to see if it's fallen when Ive e.g. got a virus. If you are concerned, take yours with you to the doc or respiratory nurse when you next go and compare it to theirs which will be serviced or at least checked regularly.

You ask whether it can be affected by anxiety - I don't have an answer but, unless there's some lung issue you aren't telling us, it does feel that you are way too anxious about this issue. Your peak flow is incredibly high - be happy.

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Check this GG - you'll see charts for the predicted norms for age, height and gender:

asthma.partners.org/NewFile...

According to this, the only people who blow over 700 are men who are 6'8" in their 20s - is this you?

I agree that the red one seems to be the commonest.

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Last night I had a horrid breathing experience which only the blue inhaler put a stop to. My peak flow may be high but last night it was 100 points lower than my best , before puffs. Unless there was a placebo effect from the inhaler on my mind, I am terrified that my lungs were being closed up by asthma.

I am 25 and only 6 ft 2

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Well only you will know if there was any reason for this - e.g. virus, pollutants in the atmosphere. But that's why we have the blue inhalers. If you're concerned please do see your doctor GG.

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Hi Great Gateway......have you any idea what made your peak flow drop......a cold or an infection brewing maybe. Have you needed to use your blue Ventolin inhaler again today.

When you were given the meter were you given any information on how to deal with your asthma....is it asthma that you have or another lung condition ...do you have a preventer inhaler.

The BLF and Asthma UK have helplines that you can contact if you live in the uk.....but if you are concerned I would contact your GP practice.

It may be a great peak flow reading compared to mine, but I am much shorter, older and female.....it's the change in your normal reading that is the marker for monitoring your lung condition.

Best wishes.

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We aren't certain that I have asthma but nonetheless I have Clenil and Ventolin, and last year I had a purple combiinhaler. Neither preventer has done anything for me at all but Ventolin is immediate relief. It isn't perfect though.... I may still gasp when trying to sleep for example.

No colds etc, andI have no known allergies except penicillin and hayfeve, the latter of which has never been serious.

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Hi again, I have Clenil and Ventolin too, and allergic to penicillin ...snap.

You mentioned anxiety, it's easy to get into a cycle of breathlessness, anxiety, and over breathing which can lead to more breathlessness and anxiety.

Have you tried the pursed lip breathing technique .....breathe in gently through your nose then out gently through your mouth with pursed lips.....repeat a few times.

Also try gentle belly breathing with a relaxed diaphragm and relaxed upper chest...low and slow....this can help with hyperventilation.

I practice Buteyko Breathing exercises but these are not suitable for everyone ....and lessons are very expensive . There are books though.

Have you had a Reversibility Test . ...that can help with an asthma diagnosis. I have a problem if I take too much Ventolin as do my daughters ....but everyone is different .

Best wishes

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I had a lung function test once but the hospital is so far from me I had to take blue inhaler to get there which messed with results.

It is impossible for me to breath through my nose without Ventolin for some reason. Not like a stuffy nose but like I'm breathing against glue.

Really interested in that last point; Ventolin makes you worse, or does it just cause dependence?

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If anxiety affects our breathing, which it does, it's bound to affect peak flows, as will infection.

My worst was 80 and that might worry you. If you feel well, enjoy it ! Sue x

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I personally would get rid of one of the peak flow meters . stick to one and keep a record of what you are blowing. Its like a pair of scales very often put two side by side and they will be different. My husband five years ago could blow about 600 and he was seventy. I can only do about 150. My specialist only today said forget these readings its how you feel that matters leave it to us to do the charts.

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Use the meter with its own measures/norms chart - the red one is for use with this chart - peakflow.com/top_nav/normal...

The blue one may have different standards.

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I wouldn't worry with a reading of that level .... I can't even blow 100 & I'm still here ... alive & kicking !!!!! xx

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