Mar 31, 2007

[Health] A New Treatment for Asthma?

Flickr: rainspoo - Ball and Chain

In one way or another, I've been living with asthma all my life. I say this even though my asthma only came out after puberty shortly after I had turned 20 given that of course many in my family suffer from asthma as well.

When I read about bronchial thermoplasty, a new potential treatment for asthma, I was pretty excited. Although it's still in early testing, the initial results have been promising. What makes this treatment so radical is that it doesn't involve drugs or other medication.

To keep things simple, the treatment uses heat to burn off some of the "smooth muscles" responsible for the contractions you feel during an asthma attack. Low level radio frequency or thermal energy is run through the muscles in your bronchial passages appear to damage only these smooth muscles and little else, thus allowing the doctor to more or less control how much "damage" will be done. Treatments are spaced out as one hour sessions across three weeks and the initial test results show a reduction in the need to use conventional asthma medicines like inhalers for the test group.

It's not a cure - oh no, it's anything but. However if you've ever gone through an asthma attack or had to help someone close to you going through one, then you can more or less understand why even partial relief can generate so much excitement. Asthma sufferers like myself will do almost anything to become less dependent on the steroidal drugs that keep us breathing through the worst pollutants abundant in the world today.

I certainly hope this treatment does generate clear results in the long run - I can assure you that I'll definitely be one of those who'll be willing to sign up for it one it becomes available locally.

Related Links:

Photo linked from rainspoo's photostream.

1 comment:

  1. Wow.. that's interesting, I've had asthma all my life, I wonder when will this treatment reach Asia ;)