Healthy living

Night-time device reduces asthma symptoms

Night-time device reduces asthma symptoms Filters out allergens

A device that filters the air during the night while asthma sufferers sleep can reduce their symptoms during the day, a study has found.

The temperature controlled laminar airflow treatment (TLA) device, called Protexo, delivers a steady flow of cool filtered air to the breathing area around the patient. This in turn displaces the warmer air containing irritants and allergens such as house dust mite and pet hair, which can trigger or exacerbate asthma.

The study, published in the journal Thorax, involved 281 patients with poorly controlled asthma, aged between seven and 70.

Of these, 189 slept with the TLA device just above their bed for 12 months, while the rest were given a dummy device.

A validated score was used to assess quality of life before and after the study, along with assessments of symptom control, lung capacity, airway inflammation, and biological indicators of a systemic allergic response.

The results showed a 14-15 per cent increase in quality of life scores for patients who used the TLA device, compared with those who used the dummy version.

Patients using the device also showed a steeper fall in nitric oxide - an indicator of inflammation - particularly among those with severe asthma, the researchers said.

Those using this device also had significantly smaller increases of another indicator of persistent and more severe inflammation, immunoglobulin E (IgE).

The effect was greatest among patients whose asthma symptoms were the most poorly controlled and required the most medication, a group who "represent a significant area of unmet need," the researchers said.

"The reason that nocturnal TLA is successful where so many other approaches have failed may be the profound reduction in inhaled aeroallergen exposure, which this treatment achieves," the researchers said.

They added that other studies have suggested night time exposure to allergens has the greatest effect on the severity of asthma symptoms, possibly because of changes in circulating hormone levels and the immune system prompted by the body's internal clock or circadian rhythm.

This article was published on Thu 24 November 2011

Image © luna #19837255

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