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Asthma Research Studies

Asthma Research Studies Asthma Triggers for AdultsI have asthma and I was also fortunate enough to participate in asthma research studies recently at the local Ottawa hospital. The purpose of the study was to assess patients who have been diagnosed with asthma and confirm that they actually have asthma. There seemed to be some doubt as to whether patients were actually being diagnosed properly or not with this problem.

In my case I was pretty sure that I had it, but then you never know, so I thought I would at least get another opinion. Even if they confirmed that I have asthma, I was sure that I would learn something and this is really why I am writing this post. I would like other people to learn what I learned. But first the details of how the study was run and whether it was really scientific enough.

Asthma Research Studies

When I first got a call from the hospital, they arrange for an appointment for me to come in a complete a questionnaire as well as several airway tests to confirm my baseline breathing capability. I was on medication and I was doing a good job at managing my asthma as it turns out. Once they reviewed these baseline results, they called me back for a second test.

The second test involved the application of what I call an irritant to see how my lungs would react. If I have more than 20% degradation in lung capacity, then I was deemed to have asthma. turned out that I only had a 17% degradation in lung capacity and confirmed that I was managing things well. Apparently the doctor had some doubt as to whether I actually had asthma, so he asked me to go to the next stage which was to stop all medication and record my lung capacity using a flow meter and also any symptoms I had, which I did.

No Medication and Asthma is Back

Well that was all it too. Over the weekend I was exposed to cut grass , humid weather and I went down hill fast. I had to use my emergency Ventolin puffers many times and they retested me on Monday morning. My lung capacity was down to 70% from 100% and when the finally gave me Ventolin, I improved by 17%. I have a way to go but I was feeling much better, once I had a treatment of Ventolin.

This confirmed I had asthma, so no big surprise. Was it all worth it, definitely and here is why.

What Did I Learn from this Clinical Asthma Research Study

First of all apparently 23 % of patients are misdiagnosed with asthma. These people may have had a small problem and were put on Ventolin and told they had asthma when they don’t

Second, I have always had trouble telling when my puffer was empty. What you need to do is shake it beside your ear and if you can still hear something sloshing around inside then there is still medication inside. Even when the medication is done, there still can be compressed air coming out of the puffer when it is depressed. Do not rely on this indicator for checking your puffer. Some manufacturers are now placing counters on them which is a great idea.

Third, I learned the proper way to use a puffer. As the picture above shows, you should be using a proper tube, press the puffer, then begin to breathe in at a regular rate. This is the best way to get all of the medication into your lungs. Otherwise much of it ends up on your tongue and the back of your throat were it will not do any good at all. Don’t breathe too hard or the same thing will occur with medicine on your tongue and the back of your throat.

Lastly they also told me that COPD and asthma are very different. Most people who smoke end up with pockets of dead air in their lungs were the lung tissue has died. This is caused 99% of the time by smoking! If you are smoking, try to stop immediately, since getting COPD is a terrible problem to have even worse than asthma.

they paid me for the parking and for the gas my car used, so I really was out of pocket at all. I am really glad that I participated in this asthma research study! For more information about asthma, click here.

 

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