One Patient's Story A heavy, congested cough wracked Gina La Rosa’s small frame for several months each year starting at age 5. The cough kept her up at night, leavingher exhausted during the day and it made her self-conscious when she couldn’t stop the coughing fits that disrupted class in school. In the winter, when the cold air could exacerbate her condition, Gina stayed inside while all her friends went out for recess each day. “She was sad missing her friends,” says Gina’s mom, Linda La Rosa of Rockaway, New Jersey. “She wanted to get better so badly.” The pulmonologist diagnosed Gina with allergy-induced asthma but physicians could never nail down exactly what triggered her wet, deep chest cough. After frustrating years of multiple doctor visits, medical tests and various asthma medications, Gina finally found relief when she was 9 years old using salt therapy. Salt therapy, also known as halotherapy (from the Greek word “halos” for salt), is a drug-free treatment that blows an invisible aerosol of dry salt into a climate- and humidity-controlled room that’s covered from floor to ceiling in salt. The idea is that the miniscule salt particles (1 to 5 microns in size) can penetrate deep into a person’s lungs to help relieve various symptoms caused by conditions that range from asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis to environmental allergies, COPD and even eczema.
This work elucidates the questions upon the development of a new drug-free method of a respiratory diseases treatment. Halotherapy (HT) - is mode of treatment in a controlled air medium which simulates a natural salt cave microclimate. The main curative factor is dry sodium chloride aerosol with particles of 2 to 5 mkm in size. Particles density (0.5-9 mg/m3) varies with the type of the disease. Other factors are comfortable temperature- humidity regime, the hypobacterial and allergen- free air environment saturated with aeroions.
Method Adhering to the guidelines of Ministry of Health of Russian Federation: Fine dry salt aerosol within the range (0.5 mg/m3 to 10 mg/m3) in a humidity controlled environment. HT course consists of 10-25 daily procedures for 30 minutes (for children) and 60 minutes (for adults) with 355 Patients and 153 Placebo. It is expedient to repeat HT course 1-2 times a year for the patients with chronic pathology.
Results Indication for HT prescription proved to be practical for all the most common respiratory diseases. As a rehabilitation method HT is prescribe to the patients with acute bronchitis (AB) and prolonged pneumonia, chronic non-obstructive (CNB) and obstructive bronchitis (COB), bronchial asthma (BA) of different severity and various clinical –pathogenetic treatment types including hormone-dependent forms, multiple bronchiectasis (MB), and cystic fibrosis (CF).
Analyzing the long-term follow–up upon treatment it was revealed that HT application in complex treatment in COPD patients allowed prolonging the disease remission and reducing the range of baseline therapy, improving the systemic condition and emotional status of patients. Good result of HT was achieved in 85% patients with prolonged and recurrent form of Bronchial Asthma and residual pneumonia, which demonstrates symptomatolyic condition and normalization of functional parameters. Majority of patients (53%) with diagnosed infectious agent upon taking HT as monotherapy demonstrated reduction of antibody levels to preumococcus and hemophilic bacillus that is evidence of pathogen elimination.
Application of HT is effective in 82% patients with hay fever... when applying HT as a method for nasal pathology medical treatment it allows to achieve positive results in 72%-87% cases. In 90% patients with acute sinusitis 2-3 procedures of HT prescribed upon primary puncturing have sanitation action.
background Inhaled hypertonic saline acutely increases mucociliary clearance and, in short- term trials, improves lung function in people with cystic fibrosis. We tested the safety and efficacy of inhaled hypertonic saline in a long-term trial. methods In this double-blind, parallel-group trial, 164 patients with stable cystic fibrosis who were at least six years old were randomly assigned to inhale 4 ml of either 7 per- cent hypertonic saline or 0.9 percent (control) saline twice daily for 48 weeks, with quinine sulfate (0.25 mg per milliliter) added to each solution to mask the taste. A bronchodilator was given before each dose, and other standard therapies were con- tinued during the trial. results The primary outcome measure, the rate of change (slope) in lung function (reflected by the forced vital capacity [FVC], forced expiratory volume in one second [FEV1], and forced expiratory flow at 25 to 75 percent of FVC [FEF25 –75]) during the 48 weeks of treatment, did not differ significantly between groups (P=0.79). However, the absolute difference in lung function between groups was significant (P=0.03) when averaged across all post-randomization visits in the 48-week treatment period. As compared with the control group, the hypertonic-saline group had significantly higher FVC (by 82 ml; 95 percent confidence interval, 12 to 153) and FEV1 (by 68 ml; 95 percent confidence interval, 3 to 132) values, but similar FEF25–75 values.
The hypertonic-saline group also had significantly fewer pulmonary exacerbations (relative reduction, 56 percent; P=0.02) and a significantly higher percentage of patients without exacerbations (76 percent, as compared with 62 percent in the control group; P=0.03). Hypertonic saline was not associated with worsening bacterial infection or inflammation.
conclusions Hypertonic saline preceded by a bronchodilator is an inexpensive, safe, and effective additional therapy for patients with cystic fibrosis.
Effect of halotherapy in patients with bronchial asthma and allergic rhinitis Chervinskaya A, Alexandrov A, Zilber N, Stepanova N. XV International Congress of allergology and clinical immunology, Sweden, 1994. – P. 175. ABSTRACT 106 patients (pts) (59 – with allergic, 27 – with nonallergic bronchial asthma (BA) and 20 – with allergic rhinitis) were treated by HT. 15 pts of the control group were given placebo. HT course consisted of 10-20 daily procedures of 1 hour. The clinical state of 85% pts with BA and 90% – with allergic rhinitis improved after HT. The results of HT did not depend on BA type. The positive dynamics of flow-volume loop parameters and decrease of bronchial and nasal resistance measured by bodyplethysmography were observed. FVC and FEV1 initial values and the values of their changes during HT showed a significantly negative correlation – the more marked was bronchial obstruction, the better were the results of therapy. The changes in control group parameters after HT were not statistically significant. The results of HT application demonstrated its efficacy.
Application of dry rock salt aerosol in case of common cold Chervinskaya A, Alexandrov A, Konovalov S. XYI Congress of the European Rhinologic Society. VII Congress of the International Rhinologic Society. Week of the Nose: Abstract Book 1996. P104.
abstract 17 patients with common cold underwent dry rock salt aerosol (DRSA) therapy. It has been known that DRSA improves rheological properties of the airways contents, decreases edema of bronchial and nasal mucosa, it has a bactericidal action, enhances functioning of alveolar macrophages. Other factors are comfortable temperature and humidity, hypo bacterial and allergen free air medium. The common cold patients’ condition was assessed by daily clinical observation, functional and citobacteriological tests. In all cases we registered cold clinical symptoms disappear faster than in control group. The improvement in clinical state was accompanied by positive dynamics of laboratory tests.