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Good Peak Flow and Chest Discomfort
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Good Peak Flow and Chest Discomfort

There are times where I feel like my lungs are tight or have some mucous in them, but when I use my peak flow meter I'm 85%-100% of my personal best. Does anyone else experience this? Does it mean I'm really not having asthma symptoms and should not use my inhaler (although it feels like I should)? Or maybe there's an aspect of my asthma that is not being addressed? Sometimes when I take my inhaler in these situations my peak flows remain in my personal green zone, but the chest feelings don't go away, which causes me some anxiety in that I think maybe I am having an attack but my rescue meds are not helping. I am 42 years old, normal weight and have been on Advair 500/50 for about 3 years. Xopenex is my rescue inhaler.

Thanks
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi,  it is possible to be having asthma issues and maintaim a good peak flow for a while.  Peak flow reflects how clear the larger airways are.  You could be having issues in the smaller airways.  The presence of mucous would indicate that something is probably going on.  You should really discus this with your dr at your next visit and see what he/she says.

Another thought would be acid reflux.  Could this be an issue for you?
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746512_tn?1388811180
I have the exact same thing.  Most of my "asthma attacks" are with me 75-90% of my personal best (which I haven't hit in about 9 months).  

Peak flow shows small changes in air flow but only in the large airways so any inflammation in the small airways doesn't show up because it's not sensitive enough.  I notice a major way in the feeling of completing the peak flow when I'm having problems.  I still come up with a similar number but performing a peak flow reading is a lot harder and I'm out of breathe at the end.

So talk to your doctor but if they ignore your symptoms and only look at the peak flow numbers, I would suggest finding another doctor.
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the responses. I have been taking omeprazole for several years for GERD but still have heartburn once in a while, so that is worth considering. Small airway obstruction makes sense because I can take big, deep breaths with little extra effort but still feel like I am short of breath. Is there a better maintenance med than Advair and/or rescue med than Xopenex from small airway asthma? Are supplementing these meds with loratadine and guaifenesin an option?
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Avatar_f_tn
If this is more than a temporary flare, you might need to consider taking more maitenanve meds.  Not fun, I know.  You are already on good ones.  You could try Symbicort as it does work better for some people than Advair does.  

Make sure your acid reflux is well controlled.  You may need to step up to a proton pump inhibitor for that.

Other options would include adding antihistamine and/or Singulair.  Also, nasal sprays if allergies are a problem as well.  Also, you might need to consider allergy shots.

I hope you can regain controll without the added controller meds.  You should see your dr for evaluation and other treatment options.
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