Asthma Sufferers Wasting Money On Expensive Equipment

April 06, 2009 12:33 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
The research indicates that asthmatics should not buy expensive equipment that may be of little use. Common-sense methods probably work better to prevent asthma attacks.

Expensive equipment not worth it

Thirty-six trials were conducted by the nonprofit health organization The Cochrane Collaboration. Mattress protectors, specialized cleaners, high-efficiency vacuum cleaners and air filters were among the products tested and found mostly ineffective, according to the study.

"The level of allergens is so high in most homes that what remains after the treatment is still high enough to cause asthma attacks,” said Dr. Peter Gotzsche, lead author of the study. The products did slightly lower the number of dust mites, but not significantly enough to offer relief to asthma patients.

Although asthmatics are indeed allergic to dust, some of their reactions to dust may be psychosomatic. A study published this month found that when asthmatics were exposed to dust, they reported hearing changes in their voices including a “hoarse, husky, or tense voice,” the study in Logopedics, phoniatrics, vocology said. However, voice clinicians noticed no change. These findings suggests at the very least that while certain dust related symptoms are felt by the patient, they are not heard.

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Related Topic: Promising treatments

Researchers found that asthma symptoms and asthma-related hospital admissions decreased in Puerto Rican children whose families participated in a home-based management program. Poor asthma management is one of the factors causing high asthma rates and illness seen in low-income Puerto Rican children, according to Reuters.

Encouraging more physical activity may also be a way to prevent asthma from developing. Last month, a study in Britain also found that too much TV may be responsible for asthma in young children. Television does not directly cause asthma, but lack of activity may cause it to develop. Similarly, video games and other activities that encourage lengthy, sedentary periods may induce asthma. The study followed 3,000 British children from age three to 12.

University of Houston professor Richard Bond believes that using beta-blockers instead of stimulants, which have traditionally been used to treat asthma, may work better in helping patients control the condition. He has coined the term “paradoxical pharmacology,” reports ScienceDaily, because his research shows that “treating patients with medicine that initially worsens their symptoms before eventually improving their overall health,” may be the answer to decreasing asthma attacks. 

Reference: Resources for those with asthma

FindingDulcinea provides a Web Guide to asthma with links to online resources for learning more about the condition, including specialized information for children and pregnant women.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute states that it is not exactly clear what causes asthma, but a person is more likely to develop it if other people in his or her family have asthma as well. Research also suggests that being exposed to smoke, infections and some allergens early in life may increase a person’s chances of developing the condition.

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