Tags: asthma | shallow | breaths

Asthma: Shallow Breaths Ease Symptoms

By    |   Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 04:33 PM

Asthma attacks typically trigger sufferers to gulp and gasp for breath. But asthma patients taught to habitually resist the urge to take deep breaths when experiencing symptoms have fewer symptoms and healthier lung function, a new study finds.

The research, by medical investigators from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, suggest asthma patients should be taught to use behavioral techniques that emphasize shallow breathing in addition to taking their daily asthma medicine, Science Daily reports. 
 
Lead researchers Thomas Ritz and Alicia E. Meuret, both SMU clinical psychologists, said asthmatics may also be able to reduce their dependence on emergency medication, such as rescue inhalers, by learning the breathing technique.
 
For their study, one group of asthma patients used biofeedback to monitor their breathing for reassurance they were getting sufficient oxygen. The patients practiced shallower, shorter breaths to increase their intake of carbon dioxide, CO2. A second group also practiced slower breathing, but without biofeedback.
 
"This study goes to the heart of hyperventilation -- which is deep, rapid breathing that causes a drop in CO2 gas in the blood. That makes a person feel dizzy and short of breath," Ritz said. "Patients in our study increased CO2 and reduced their symptoms. And over a six-month period we saw in the biofeedback group an actual improvement in the physiology of their lungs."
 
Asthma is a life-threatening disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans, according to the American Lung Association.
 
The study, published in the medical journal Chest, was funded in part by the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
 

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Asthma patients taught to habitually resist the urge to take deep breaths when experiencing symptoms have fewer symptoms and healthier lung function, a new study finds.
asthma, shallow, breaths
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2014-33-04
Tuesday, 04 Nov 2014 04:33 PM
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