I was diagnosed with a chest infection last week, the second in 6 months. The doctor has given me Amoxicillin 500mg to take for seven days. While I was at the doctors she listened to my chest which wasn't wheezy but was crackly. She also did a peak flow reading which was 350, should be 450 for my age and height( female age 50, 5ft 5in).
She gave me a peak flow meter to use once I'm feeling better but I must admit I was so freaked out I keep on using it during the day and my readings don't seem to be getting any better. None of my family have asthma and I don't smoke but it is now worrying me that this is what I have. Another symptom I've noticed is that my nose always feels congested all year round, could it be post nasal drip? Would a chest infection cause a low peak flow reading and how long does it take before it starts to improve. My doctor wants me to monitor my peak flow readings for two weeks after I have finished the antibiotics and then go for a spirometry test. I would appreciate any feedback :-(
Many people without asthma can have problems breathing with respiratory infections that will be demonstrated in reduced air flow and peak flow. A lot of doctors will even treat non-asthmatic patients with asthma meds when they have bronchitis or other respiratory illnesses as a way to get the well faster.
I would recommend that you put the meter away for a few days until you finish the anitibotics and you no longer hear the crackly sound when you breathe. At this point it is causing you undue stress.
As far as how long it will take depends on many things. If you are asthmatic, it can be much longer than other people. It takes weeks for my peak flows to really improve after an infection. However, I know people who get over it in days.
I suggest you talk to your doctor about the nasal congestion. There could be many causes including allergic rhinitis, various forms of non-allergic rhinitis, acid reflux... I am sure you have post nasal drip, but that is another symptom not a cause.
Take care, feel better, and try to relax. Relaxing will help you heal faster.
Thank you for your response. My breathing actually got worse and I ended up going to hospital where they put me on a nebuliser and gave me some steroids , antibiotics and an inhaler in case I start getting uncomfortable again. They also did a chest xray which was clear. The nebuliser did help in loosening up the mucus from my chest and I'm hoping the medication they have given me will speed up the healing process. It was very scary as my hands started tingling and my blood pressure was high.
They let me home after a couple of hours and I will take your advice and leave the meter until I am better. I still have a bit of a tight chest but will continue putting my head over hot steam as the doctor instructed and taking my medicine, this should also help. I'm hoping to see a slight improvement as each day goes by. Thanks again.
I am glad you are feeling better, and that you got the help you needed.
There is a very serious bug going around that, according to my allergist, is hard on everyone. It is a lot harder on people with underliing lung disease. I had it, was almost hospitalized twice, had 5 office (4 with neb treatments plus the ones I was doing at home), and had a fever for 16 days. I was on two different antibiotics. Taking a peak flow was a joke during that time.
It is a nasty bug.
Hang in there. I got over and you will too. Take care of yourself.
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