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Symptoms with higher peak flow


I was just wondering if any of you have had bad asthma symptoms with a reasonably high peak flow? I am currently working at around 85% (450/530) but I have found that some doctors are not inclined to believe that my symptoms are as bad as my peak flow readings are quite high.
Just a little background to this, I play solo cornet in a brass band and prior to being diagnosed with asthma following a particularly bad chest infection, could easily run 10ks. So I’m guessing that those two hobbies are the reason that my peak flow personal best is quite a lot higher than the average for my weight and age.
At a recent asthma review, I discussed the fact that I am struggling to play my cornet and haven’t really managed to get back into running for the last year. The asthma nurse looked at my peak flow and compared it to the average for my age and said that my asthma is fine and well managed.
I am now in the middle of a flare up and am on steroids and antibiotics and so now isn’t the best time to go to the doctors about long term asthma management. I was just wondering if anyone has had a similar experience and has any advice (obviously not medical advice as I am aware that this isn’t the appropriate place for that). For reference, I am on Montelukast and Symbicort.

  1. When I was first diagnosed, it was the same for me. Peak flow of 550. Asthma nurse said it only meant I was active. Should it go into yellow zone, even if high, it is a sign of a flare. Sometimes my peak flow is 500 and I am in a flare.

    It seems it is different for each individual. I can see how playing a wind instrument is good for the lungs.
    I was told if I was struggling to trust my judgement. I am the one breathing. However, many medical professionals will ignore peak flow (in my neck of the woods anyway) and go with pulse oxymeter percentage.

    The professional moderators on here are great! Opened my eyes to many things I did not know. The info is plentiful! Lap it up!
    I am on same meds. Symbicort turbohaler seems to work best for me, plus Atrovent in big flare ups.
    Hope you find comfort here. I did.

    1. Hi Han-El, and thanks for bringing up this most interesting topic. I see that our fellow colleague, , has been good enough to share her own personal experiences with peak flows here as well. (Thanks, Bleu!)
      I also have something to contribute. We recently had a lengthy conversation with another fellow community member, , on this very topic, which I thought you would find very interesting to read.
      For your convenience, here is a link to that entire conversation: This conversation is from last month. I do hope you find it to be interesting and, in some ways, similar to what you have shared with us here.
      All the best,
      Leon (site moderator

      1. Thank you. That was a really interesting discussion.

        1. Hi again, Han-El, and thanks for the feedback. I thought that conversation would be something that would interest you. I am glad you took the time to let me know you did!
          Wishing you well,
          Leon (site moderator

      2. Hi. I have a similar case here. My PTF on the first doctor visit 8 years ago was 85%, after an year and a half and new inhaller I gained control and after that my PTF readings are always above 100%. In the first year I bought PEF reader to help me to understand better my asthma, and my calculated personal best was 485. For about two years I wasnt able to meet that 485, it was always between 430-460, but still in the green zone top of the yellow zone is for me 380.
        I am rarely in the yellow zone, and when I am, it is always when Im sick with flu or sinus infection.
        But whenever I get tired, coughing and a bit out of breath, which is mostly my symptoms if a flare up, I get readings around 430-440.
        I have never played any instrument and sadly any sport (I wanted to but my parents didnt want to) so I was active child on my own, running around, climbing trees etc.

        Running long distance was problem for me even in the school, long time ago I was struggling to run 2,5 km, but after gaining asthma control im able to go to 8km. (metric system, sorry 😁)

        I guess everybody is a diferent, and I learned to know when my PEF reading is 460 and going down that Im going to flare. I guess.

        1. and just to mention, when Im in the flare, and my PEF readings in the morning are 430, in the end of a day after an 6-8 dose of an inhaler I get that 480-485, but tomorrow in the morning all over again till the end of a flare. I dont know eather why I get so little difference between readings, and so huge difference in the symptoms, I didbt discuss with my pulmologyst jet.

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