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What should my peak flow be?

(17 Posts)
headfairy Mon 30-Jul-12 23:44:34

I'm 42 and 5 foot 10. At the docs today I just about managed 300, he didn't seem very impressed. I had asthma as a child and he seems to think my recurrent chest infections mark the return of asthma for me after 25 years of being symptom free.

stargirl1701 Mon 30-Jul-12 23:51:15

I'm 35. Mine is usually between 350 and 400.

coppertop Mon 30-Jul-12 23:54:41

On an average to good day, mine is somewhere around 420.

I'm a good 6 inches shorter than you and only around 5 years younger.

With a peak flow of 300 I would expect to be coughing a fair bit and out of breath after even very gentle exercise.

The best way to find out what your own PF should be is to keep a PF diary for a few weeks. The doctor (or asthma nurse) would usually give you a PF meter and a PF chart to record your morning and night results, and also to write any symptoms in.

LittlePushka Tue 31-Jul-12 00:17:54

42yrs much diddier than you and 425 to 450 is normal goodbreathing . Durin an asthma attack it could be 200 -300, though with 250 or less I can barely move about and cant speak.

Chesty coughs will take me to 300-350, are really diffucult to shift and reliver inhalers take 8+ puffs to work. I suspect ought to go to doctors to get different/better meds or mucous thinner but on the ocasions I have gone to request that the doc just says keep taking the brown preventative.

Agree with coppertop though that levels are really subjective - you need to know what is normal for you on a healthy symptom free basis and work back from that. Hope that you get well.

msrantsalot Tue 31-Jul-12 00:22:42

300 is not very good. my best is 480 and I am 5.4 I get hospitalised at 250. At 300 I would expect to be on 40mg steroids and increase in preventer. Don't do anything bar sit on your bum. Make sure you get antibiotics and let everyone else run after you (im guessing for a change if your a mum). I would not get off the sofa until you hit at least 350. I'm serious, it doesn't take much for it to drop. please take it very easy until you are better.

msrantsalot Tue 31-Jul-12 00:25:01

Also OP make sure you have a spacer handy to multi dose. Asthma UK has a good forum for advice. Try to sleep propped up on tons of pillows or else your lungs will fill up with crap and you will get no sleep. slather your chest and back in vicks vaporub to open your airways. And get a good rest. thanks

headfairy Tue 31-Jul-12 12:20:13

Thanks for the advice everyone. As soon as my chest infection has cleared up I'm going to see the asthma nurse so I can ask if I can track my peak flow then. The GP was quite surprised at how low it was, he made me do it three times. I have tried to sleep propped up but it's hard, I just don't sleep well like that. I will try with some Vics tonight.

mrsRant sadly no one else around to look after the kids but I have vetoed swimming for today as I'm in no condition to be flailing around a pool.

giraffesCantTakePartInThe100ms Thu 02-Aug-12 01:17:35

doing ot 3 times is the norm, always do 3 readings and take the highest

giraffesCantTakePartInThe100ms Thu 02-Aug-12 01:17:44

How are you feeling?

headfairy Thu 02-Aug-12 11:19:45

Hi Giraffes... feeling sort of ok, thanks for asking. I'm back at work, but on light duties. Antibiotics are kicking in, but I still have pain when I breathe in. I'm supposed to take the brown inhaler four times a day, but it's quite painful taking it. I'm going to make an appointment to see the asthma nurse next week and I'll ask her if that's just because the chest infection is still there, or if it's something else. I don't have a peak flow meter at the moment, but I don't imagine it's that good. Even taking the inhaler is quite a challenge.

giraffesCantTakePartInThe100ms Thu 02-Aug-12 23:05:16

How are you taking it? you might need a spacer/aerochamber then you cn do tidal breathing rather than one big deep breath - might be less sore

headfairy Fri 03-Aug-12 12:29:00

I do have a spacer. It's a blue one rather than the volumatic one. There was some confusion as the GP gave me a prescription for a volumatic one, but demonstrated on the blue one (I think it's an aero chamber) so the pharmacist thought I should have the one he showed me rather than the one he prescribed. To be honest I didn't have a clue so took the one she offered. I'm not sure what tidal breathing is to be honest. But there is a whistle thingy on the spacer to stop me inhaling too fast. The pain in my chest is pretty much there all the time, it's not just on breathing in, though it does feel worse when I breathe in deeply.

giraffesCantTakePartInThe100ms Sat 04-Aug-12 02:54:28

When you use the spacer you are meant to do a big breath in, tidal breathing is in and out and in and out and so a rhythmic slow way. Easier to do. I was never shown what to do and have aways done it that way

giraffesCantTakePartInThe100ms Sat 04-Aug-12 02:55:12

are you on predniselone? (steroid tabs)

funnyperson Sat 04-Aug-12 04:48:11

headfairy if you have chest pain you need to go to see a doctor immediately. A nurse next week won't cut it. Could be pneumonia. Dr can give you a nebuliser in the surgery. And antibiotics. Possibly oral steroids. And will check you havent coughed a hole in your lung.

Your Peak flow should be at least 500.

When you take your inhaler make sure the valve thingy in the aerochamber moves in and out. Breathe in and out deeply 10 times to make sure you inhale all the stuff.

Take the blue inhaler before you take the brown inhaler. Each time you take the blue,use 2 puffs into the aerochamber. Can use the blue upto 20 times though it will make your heart beat faster and you feel jittery.Can take it upto 2 hourly but if this is needed you must must must see your doctor. Brwon inhaler is only twice a day. No point taking it more it wont work any better.

But try not to let your peak flow drop. Measure your peak flow in the morning and half an hour after the blue inhaler. If the inhaler helps your peak flow you are on the right track.

Remember to wash out your aerochamber with hot soapy water daily or it will get germs.

headfairy Sat 04-Aug-12 19:05:09

Funnyperson, the doc has already diagnosed mild pneumonia, I'm on antibiotics for it and the rattling has really improved. But I do still have the chest pain. It's kind of like when you eat pear drops and it makes you cough (or is that just me?)

I don't have a breathe in and out aero chamber, at least I don't think so. I pump one puff of the becotide in to it and then inhale very slowly from the chamber ( so the whistly valve thing doesn't go off)

I've been prescribed 2 puffs 4 times a day with the brown inhaler and the blue inhaler as and when I need it, and so far I've not really needed it. I don't have a peak flow meter so I can't check it. I'm not on any oral steroids... All of this might change on Tuesday when I see the asthma nurse.

Instructions in the aero chamber say wash once a week. Is that not correct?

funnyperson Sun 05-Aug-12 12:50:00

Your aerochamber technique sounds fine. Washing weekly is fine.
If your pfr is only 300 I think you need to be taking the blue stuff but see if you get better with the antibiotics.

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