British Lung Foundation
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Peak Flow

As a long time asthmatic (now diagnosed as COPD) I know the peak flow of old,but have never had a lot of faith in what it tells me. The only time I used it in the past was when I felt dangerously breathless and if it was less than 100 (sometimes 50) I got to the hospital. This year, on my honeymoon in New Zealand, I had a flare up and was admitted to hospital for 5 days. Excellent care, they wanted me to actually keep a record of my peak flow, so I started doing that. It was explained to me that if you do it regularly it will alert you when trouble is on the way. I now do it every night and morning when I take my meds and have been very interested to find it rarely changes from 150. Now I know that isn't a good score, but it is fine for me! Couple of weeks ago had a very wheezy time but the peak flow remaioned doggedly at 150 - so I assume there was no infection? Saw a doc (in Swanage - I just should not leave home...) who gave me anti-Bs - just in case - and a week of prednisolone, which cleared it up very fast.

So, people, I am now converted to the use of my peak flow, long may I blow 150!!

3 Replies

Hi sylvsmum i too have peak flow and same as you about 150 is the norm for me, funny or not so funny thing is ive had it since 09, had my atos assessment and in the write the atos dr had said i wasnt using it properly because my score was so low! i know how to use it properly and i did, he obviously wanted his bonus for failing me! and like you i check my mine twice a day and when getting sob x


Using a peak flow is great for monitoring the larger airways but is not reliable for small airways problems, you can still be really quite ill and have a good reading on a peak flow so please use this monitoring as only part of the whole picture and not as 100% guidance, if you feel more breathless than usual but are still able to blow 150 does not mean you are okay. Best of luck you.


Thanks for those comments. Agree rattles, last week on holiday I was very wheezy (as I said) but didn't believe the peak flow when it said I was OK. Maybe no infection, but still problems.


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