November 25, 2011
Study Finds Purifier Can Help Asthmatics
A new air purification machine that cleans the air while asthma sufferers sleep reportedly can drastically reduce the symptoms they experience during the course of a day.
According to Andrew Hough of the Telegraph, the $6,000-plus device is a "temperature controlled laminar airflow treatment" system known as Protexo, which "filters out airborne triggers such as dust particles and mites, pet hairs and powders that cause irritation and inflammation of the lungs."
Hough says that researchers who have tested the device say that it "significantly" decreases symptoms such as wheezing and tightness in the chest. Furthermore, Jenny Hope of the Daily Mail adds that asthmatics participating in a study of the purifier's effectiveness reported "huge" improvements in their quality of life and were "less likely to be admitted to hospital."
The year-long study, which was led by Imperial College London Pediatrics Professor and St. Mary's Hospital Consultant Pediatrician John Warner, discovered that European patients who were between the ages of seven and 70 and representing six countries, reported a 15% increase in quality of life scores versus subjects who were given a fake machine.
According to Hough and Hope, Protexo is a drug-free apparatus that filters out irritants and allergenic particles that can trigger inflammation in the lungs. Patients are protected from these agents, which include things like dust mites and pet dander, thanks to a flow of somewhat cooled air around them that is created by the machine. Now asthma specialists are asking for the UK's National Health Service (NHS) to make the device available to those suffering from the ailment.
Benefits from the device are expected to become noticeable within four months.
"This device makes a significant difference to people's lives, with an effect as big as very expensive treatments, and it helps prevent the triggers of the disease," Warner said, according to the Telegraph.
"Our findings support the importance of focusing exposure control interventions on the breathing zone, and highlight the role of nocturnal exposures in precipitating airway inflammation and symptoms in patients with atopic asthma," he added.
The results of the study were published in the journal Thorax.
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