Respiratory Blog

Comic Book Teaches Families About Asthma Medication

1 min read

Physician and cartoonist, Dr. Alex Thomas noticed that the majority of children being admitted into his hospital’s ICU for asthma attacks didn’t properly understand the difference between their asthma medications. So he created a comic book called “Iggy and the Inhalers” to help.
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Benefits of Using a Portable Oxygen Concentrator

1 min read

If you have severe COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder) and low levels of oxygen in your blood, a portable oxygen concentrator (POC) can help you live a longer, healthier life.

Benefits: Oxygen therapy is known to give patients more energy, and reduce the risks of heart failure and lung disease.

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Firecrackers Cause 20% Rise in Bronchitis Cases

1 min read

Two weeks ago, Diwali was celebrated in India. Diwali, the festival of lights, is a Hindu holiday about the victory of light over darkness. It is celebrated with lamps and candles, feasts, gift giving, and firecrackers.

Unfortunately, this year’s firecrackers have led to a 20% increase in cases of pollution related bronchitis in the city of Jaipur.

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5 Hidden Asthma Triggers

1 min read

1 in 12 people now has asthma, according to the CDC. Of those who have asthma, over half have had an asthma attack.

If you’re one of the many people living with asthma, then you probably already know the importance of taking your asthma medication, carrying a rescue inhaler, having an Asthma Action Plan, and avoiding your asthma triggers.

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Puppies and Ponies May Keep Your Kids from Developing Asthma

1 min read

Exposure to dogs and farm animals makes infants less likely to develop asthma later in life, says a new study from Sweden’s Uppsala University.

The researchers looked at data from more than one million Swedish children born between 2001 and 2010. They found that infants exposed to dogs were 13% less likely to develop asthma, and those exposed to farm animals were a full 52% less likely.

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Physicians Develop the Smart Inhaler

1 min read

Over 25 million Americans live with asthma. Many forget to or choose not to adhere to their asthma prescriptions, leading to unnecessary hospital visits and $700 to $4,000 per patient per year in preventable medical costs, according to the CDC.

But a new device by MIT spin-off company Gecko Health is hoping to change all that. Meet the smart inhaler, CareTRx.

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Good Gut Bacteria May Prevent Asthma

1 min read

The bacteria in an infant’s gut could determine whether or not they develop asthma, says a new study.

As part of a project called the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development study, scientists tested 319 babies to see if they showed symptoms of being at risk for asthma, specifically wheezing and having allergies. 22 babies showed both symptoms and were considered “most at risk.”

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Life-Saving Cystic Fibrosis Drug Priced at Over $300,000 a Year

1 min read

The good news: A new drug called Kalydeco has been approved by the FDA to treat cystic fibrosis (CF). It targets the root cause of the disorder, and although it’s not a cure it’s supposed to greatly improve the quality of life for CF patients and help them live longer. (The current life expectancy for most CF patients is in their 40s).
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Doctors Fight to Ban Perfume and Cologne from Hospitals

1 min read

A group of doctors from Quebec have taken up what may initially seem like a strange cause: banning perfume and cologne from hospitals. Why? Because artificial scents have the power to harm patients, particularly those with asthma.
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Your Grandma Could Give You Asthma, Study Claims

1 min read

Asthma rates have steadily increased across the globe for the past several decades. According to the CDC asthma now affects 9.3% of kids in the USA. Now, a new study from Sweden claims part of the problem could be smoking grandmothers. According to the study, if your grandmother smoked during her pregnancy, you’re 10 to 22% more likely to develop asthma, even if your mother didn’t smoke during hers.
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Athletes Have Higher-Than-Average Asthma Rates, Study Claims

1 min read

According to a new study by John Dickinson, head of the respiratory clinic at Kent University’s School of Sport and Exercise Science, athletes have higher asthma rates than average citizens. For example, 70% of the swimmers on the British Swimming Squad have asthma. So do about 50% of cross country skiers, and about 33% of cyclists. The national average asthma rate is significantly lower, a mere 8 to 10%.
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First Sea Otter Diagnosed with Asthma

1 min read

At the Seattle Aquarium this week, a sea otter named Mishka became the first sea otter to be diagnosed with asthma. Mishka’s trainer noticed she started having trouble breathing when smoke drifted in from nearby wildfires. Dr. Lesanna Lahner xrayed Mishka’s lungs and saw a bunch of abnormal gunk showing up. She then diagnosed Mishka with asthma.
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New Research Points to Possibility of an Asthma Vaccine

1 min read

Asthma rates have been growing around the world for years now. One theory as to why is the “hygiene hypothesis.” It states that asthma is on the rise because kids today live in too sterile of environments. They’re exposed to so few irritants and allergens that their immune systems can’t tell which are actually harmful and end up overreacting to harmless irritants.
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Nebulizing Alcohol: A Dangerous New Trend

2 min read

A number of stories have been circulating around the internet about people consuming alcohol in an all new way: inhalation. Apparently, people use nebulizer machines, hookah pipes, vaporizers and more to turn their booze into smoke and breath it in. The stated benefits are that it’s lower calorie, since the alcohol isn’t going through your stomach, and that it reaches and affects your brain much quicker.
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Scientists Explore Asthma Subtypes

2 min read

The traditional way to classify diseases was by their symptoms. But more and more, doctors and scientists are looking at the biological mechanisms that cause the symptoms, and not just the symptoms themselves. This has lead some scientists to believe there are different subtypes of asthma which, though they may have similar symptoms, are caused by different mechanisms and would benefit from different treatments.
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