‘Egg whisk’ like device to treat asthma
London: Scientists have developed a new "egg whisk" like tiny device which is proving remarkably successful in treating severe asthma by aiding breathing.
Once inserted into the lungs, the device, which is less than 3mm in diameter, emits radiowaves that heat the airways which helps shrink scarred, thickened lung tissue and aiding breathing.
The procedure, called Bronchial thermoplasty (BT), is used in cases of severe persistent asthma that cannot be controlled with normal medication. Patients need only moderate sedation to undergo the procedure which means they can go home the same day.
After the treatment, asthma sufferers reported a 32 percent reduction in attacks, and there was an 84 percent reduction in accident and emergency visits, the Daily Mail reported.
Trials showed that patients treated with BT, compared to another group that did not receive the procedure, showed significant positive changes such as decreases in asthma attacks, increases in days with no asthma symptoms and improvement in quality of life.
Asthma, a chronic condition of the airways that can cause coughing, wheezing and breathlessness, affects more than three million Britons. It`s estimated that one in 12 adults and one in 11 children are currently being treated for the condition.
Drugs are usually given via inhalers and work by relaxing the muscles around the airways. However, with severe asthma, the smooth muscle that lines the lung thickens in response to constant irritation.
"Although current medications are reasonably successful in controlling symptoms in the majority of cases, some patients with severe persistent asthma continue to suffer from breathing problems," said Dr Pallav Shah of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London.