Persistent childhood asthma linked to COPD later

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Patterns of Growth and Decline in Lung Function in Persistent Childhood Asthma, has suggested that although most children with persistent asthma improve as they get older, longitudinal measurements of growth and decline in lung function have revealed links between asthma and subsequent chronic airflow obstruction. Seven hundred children in a Childhood Asthma Management Program who were between the ages of 5 and 12 took part in the study and they were followed until they were at least 23. At the end of the study, 11% of the young adults suffered from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD). Other than persistent asthma, risks for COPD included being male and having poor lung function at the start of the study. And by the time children with persistent asthma reached early adulthood, 75% showed an early decline in lung function or reduced lung growth. POWERbreathe is an Inspiratory Muscle Training device (IMT) which means it trains the muscles used to breathe in, your inspiratory muscles, and inspiratory muscle training has been shown to relieve the symptoms of asthma by improving lung function, resulting in reduction of medication and a fall in hospitalisations. POWERbreathe IMT may be used by children over the age of 7 (the Plus is more comfortable for children) who are old enough to understand how to effectively perform the breathing exercises under the supervision of an adult. And because POWERbreathe IMT is drug-free it won’t interfere with asthma medication.  Always check with your GP first before undertaking any form of training. In summary, IMT was shown to generate:

  • A reduction in the consumption of asthma medication of up to 79%
  • A reduction of ß2-agonists consumption by up to 79%
  • An improvement in asthma symptoms by up to 75% in 3 weeks

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Too fat to breathe

The Sunday Mirror recently reported about how “Britain’s exploding obesity epidemic has led to children having to be put on ventilators – because they are too fat to breathe.” This is a distressing situation when children as young as 6 years old need treatment for the potentially fatal condition, alveolar ­hypoventilation, which means they can’t get enough oxygen into their blood. For children who are overweight, bullying, teasing and inappropriate comments can be a common occurrence and a hindrance to getting outside with friends and being more active. They can make a child resort to eating more, but with POWERbreathe breathing training you can help to break this cycle and help the child build a healthier self-esteem. Here’s how POWERbreathe can help POWERbreathe breathing training increases the strength and stamina of the breathing muscles and reduces fatigue, so any form of exercise, after just 4-weeks of breathing training will feel ‘easier’. This gives a great boost to morale. And when something feels easier, you’re more inclined to do it more. And because it only takes 30 breaths in the morning and 30 breaths in the evening to gain these benefits (from 4-weeks on), POWERbreathe is a great motivator and training can be performed by the child in private (under supervision) as opposed to training in front of a whole class during PE. POWERbreathe breathing training may be used by children over the age of 7 (the Plus series is more comfortable for children) who are old enough to understand how to effectively perform the breathing exercises under the supervision of an adult. Always check with your GP first before undertaking any form of training. There’s no doubt that being overweight can be hard, both physically and emotionally. But with just 5 minute’s a day of POWERbreathe training you can help a child to feel better – and breathe better! This 17-year-old POWERbreathe user came over to see us at the Desford Triathlon to tell us that he’d had POWERbreathe for about 2 months and “my fitness has increased already. I can run farther and I can run for longer.” Here he is telling us about it…

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Improve quality of life in children with Cystic Fibrosis

The Pulmocardio Fisioterapia clinic in Brazil are working with children with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) to help improve their quality of life. They are offering children breathing assessments and breathing training. This is performed under the strict supervision of the therapists and parents. The training will help the children to tackle the respiratory restrictions that CF imposes. Their aim is to help these children live as ‘normal’ a life as possible. To do this they will be prescribing pulmonary rehab for children and adolescents with Cystic Fibrosis.

Cystic Fibrosis and breathing

Pulmocardio Fisioterapia will be focusing on breathing training for the children. And the reason for this is because CF impacts lung function leading to breathlessness. Not only that, it can impact exercise tolerance, increase fatigue and diminish quality of life. Furthermore it adversely affects muscle strength. As a consequence CF affects daily activities. So the aim of this breathing training is to help children maintain an ‘active’ lifestyle.

Improve breathing and improve quality of life

Pulmonary Rehab, offered to patients with CF, consists of exercise training and breathing strategies. This will help to increase exercise tolerance. POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) is beneficial as part of a Pulmonary Rehab programme. This is because POWERbreathe IMT exercises the breathing muscles.  It makes the breathing muscles stronger. And with stronger breathing muscles exercise tolerance increases. In addition, breathing endurance increases. And by increasing breathing strength and endurance, breathing fatigue reduces. As a result, children are able to perform more daily activities. In turn this helps to improve their quality of life.

POWERbreathe IMT is clinically proven

POWERbreathe IMT is a clinically proven, drug-free treatment for people with breathing problems. And it is the only Inspiratory Muscle Training device available on prescription in the UK. It is widely used in research into the benefits of IMT for a variety of medical conditions. And healthcare professionals are prescribing it as a standalone treatment or as part of a rehab programme.

A randomised controlled trial

Benefits Of Combining Inspiratory Muscle With ‘Whole Muscle’ Training In Children With Cystic Fibrosis: A Randomised Controlled Trial.

The conclusion

In conclusion, ‘IMT is an easily applicable intervention that could be included, together with supervised exercise training in the standard care of these (Cystic Fibrosis) patients.’

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Is there a minimum age for using POWERbreathe?

There are no safety reasons for preventing young children (above 7 years of age) from using POWERbreathe. However the following factors may affect their ability to use the device effectively: 

  • They must be able to fit the mouthpiece in their mouth. The POWERbreathe Plus mouthpiece is smaller and therefore more suited to children 
  • They must be old enough to understand how to effectively perform the breathing exercises 
  • They must have the motivation themselves or the parental encouragement to ensure that they continue to perform the exercises 
  • They should only use POWERbreathe under the supervision of an adult

Inspiratory Muscle Training And Respiratory Exercises In Children With Asthma

“The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects that inspiratory muscle training (IMT) and respiratory exercises have on muscle strength, peak expiratory flow (PEF) and severity variables in children with asthma.”


“Programs involving IMT and respiratory exercises can increase mechanical efficiency of the respiratory muscles, as well as improving PEF and severity variables.”

Read Inspiratory muscle training and respiratory exercises in children with asthma >