Friday, November 25, 2011

Simple night time airflow control device eases persistent asthma symptoms

Years ago, when I had a bad problem with asthma, I would wear a Hinchley Hay Fever helmet in the morning while getting ready for work. My asthma was much improved for the rest of the day. I regret that these are no longer being made.

Public release date: 23-Nov-2011
Contact: Emma Dickinson
BMJ-British Medical Journal
Simple night time airflow control device eases persistent asthma symptoms
Nocturnal temperature controlled laminar airflow for treating atopic asthma: A randomized controlled trial

A simple device that filters out airborne asthma triggers during sleep can ease persistent symptoms of the condition during the day and improve quality of life, suggests research published online in Thorax.

Temperature controlled laminar airflow treatment, or TLA for short, delivers a constant, slightly cooled airflow in the patient's breathing area, which displaces warmer air containing irritants and allergens, such as house dust mite and pet hairs.

The aim is to stave off the abnormal immune response that triggers a systemic allergic reaction, including the airway narrowing typical of an asthma attack, by preventing the sleeper breathing in the irritants and allergens.

The authors base their findings on 281 non-smokers (either passive or active), aged between 7 and 70, from six European countries. All of them had poorly controlled atopic (allergic) asthma.

Of these, 189 slept with a TLA device (Protexo) just above their bed for a year. The remainder were given a dummy device.


The impact was greatest among those whose asthma required the most medication yet whose symptoms were the most poorly controlled, a group who "represent a significant area of unmet need," say the authors.


They point to other research suggesting that night time allergen exposure has the greatest impact on symptom severity, possibly because of changes in circulating hormone levels and immune responsiveness prompted by the body's internal clock (circadian rhythms).

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