Today (Tuesday 6th May), the BBC reported on a worrying story that revealed how people in the UK are dying unnecessarily from asthma. Researchers believe it could be down to asthma sufferers not receiving any medical help during their final asthma attack (which was the reason given in nearly half the cases they looked at). The National Review of Asthma Deaths says sufferers and medics must be better at recognising the danger signs, which was also reiterated by researchers of this review who found that clinicians and patients themselves had become complacent about the illness. NHS England's national clinical director for respiratory services, Prof Mike Morgan said: "Every patient should have a care plan which should be regularly reviewed and patients should be supported to manage their asthma, including effective inhaler technique and knowledge of their condition." Asthma UK have responded to this breaking news by making available their own report on the findings where you can also ‘Check Your Risk’, download their ‘Asthma Care Toolkit’ or ‘Get Support’. The message is clear: clinicians and patients themselves need to take control of their asthma. As a patient one thing you could look at is Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT), also referred to as Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) and breathing training. There are several studies that show Respiratory Muscle Training to be helpful for people with asthma:
- 1. Inspiratory muscle training improves lung function and reduces exertional dyspnoea in mild/moderate asthmatics - McConnell, A. K., M. P. Caine, et al. (1998). Clinical Science 95(2): 4P.
- 2. Inspiratory muscle training in patients with bronchial asthma.
- Specific inspiratory muscle training in patients with mild asthma with high consumption of inhaled beta(2)-agonists.
- The relationship among inspiratory muscle strength, the perception of dyspnea and inhaled beta2-agonist use in patients with asthma.
- Influence of gender and inspiratory muscle training on the perception of dyspnea in patients with asthma.
- Inspiratory muscle training and respiratory exercises in children with asthma.
- Acute effects of inspiratory pressure threshold loading upon airway resistance in people with asthma.
POWERbreathe Medic Respiratory Muscle Training (RMT) offers people with asthma a drug-free, clinically-proven method of reducing their symptoms, and putting them in control of their asthma. It is available on prescription in the UK and over the counter in pharmacies. If however your GP is unable to prescribe the POWERbreathe Medic for some reason, or you don’t live in the UK, then the POWERbreathe Classic or POWERbreathe Plus Level 1 (LR) is the ideal alternative as it offers the same range of resistance as the POWERbreathe Medic.
- Laboratory studies found asthma symptoms improved with Inspiratory Muscle Training by up to 75% in 3 weeks (see 1 above)
- Patients with asthma experienced improvement of symptoms, quality of life and a reduction in the consumption of medication of up to 79% (see 2 above)
POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training is being prescribed by medical professionals as either a standalone intervention or as part of a rehabilitation programme and is a clinically-proven method of reducing your asthma symptoms. It can be used alongside your regular asthma medicine and will complement your prescribed medicines, as it is drug-free and has no side effects or drug interactions; just speak to your GP or asthma nurse. Read more about how POWERbreathe could help relieve your symptoms of asthma, or if you’re already using POWERbreathe to help with asthma then please leave a comment here or on the POWERbreathe Forum, Facebook or Twitter as we’d love to hear from you. You can also read about how POWERbreathe has helped others with breathing problems, including asthma, in our ‘Asthma’ and “I have a breathing problem” blog categories.