Peak flow: What's normal?

6 messages
19/10/2006 at 13:03
I recently used an asthmatic friend's peak flow meter.

On each attempt, I achieved a reading of about 150, which I thought seemed rather poor, considering I am 24 years old, 170kg, 5'11" tall and relatively fit (42m 10k).

Is this an acceptable peak flow, or should I consult my GP?

19/10/2006 at 13:08
if yours is accurate, it's very low!

think I'd go to the GP to get it checked
19/10/2006 at 13:21
Would seem very low if done properly.

Were you standing up?
Did you take the biggest breath in that you possibly could?
Did you seal your lips around the mouth piece so there were no leaks?
Did you breath out as quickly and forcibly as possible?

All of those things could affect the results.

What made you do the peak flow? Were you short of breath or just out of interest?
19/10/2006 at 13:25
Hey Wild Card Dave. They have recently changed the peak flow meter readings to be in line with Europe, so the old levels are slightly different if you are using an old peak flow meter.
I am about 150 on the new scale, so I'd guess that you should get checked out. I am asthmatic and fit, but I get times when I get very breathless (find it hard to take a breath) especially running in cold weather.
If they do find that you are asthmatic, it's extremely important to take the preventative medecine and not just take the blue ventolin one when you have an attack. This is because it reduces the inflammation in your lungs and thus prevents them getting worse in the long term.
There are however a lot of people who are diagnosed using the peak flow test who ONLY really have problems with their breathing pattern. This is because there is only one definitive test I think, a professor at Aberdeen Uni developed it to check on nitrogen dioxide levels or something like that. This test is not common yet in any GP's surgerys, so it's still a bit hit and miss if you get a correct disgnosis.
The people who have breathing pattern problems really need to go to breathing classes and be taught how to breath again!! This would save a lot of people having to take regular medication and can be very effective.
Hope that helps. S.
19/10/2006 at 14:15
I did of course mean 70kg, not 170... I am not the fastest obese runner on the planet!!

I only checked it just out of interest; I've not experienced any breathing problems at all.

Perhaps I should do the test again to make sure.
19/10/2006 at 15:31
Don't worry about it there's a technique to using a peak flow meter. Unfit individuals can register high scores by prolonging the expiration.

I know someone who's an extremely fit marathon runner and he gets a poor score on them - interestingly he's rubbish at blowing up balloons too!

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