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Air cleaning device could help asthma sufferers

By Ruth Lumley

A cleaning device which sucks particles from the air could help asthma sufferers while they sleep.

The Temperature Controlled Laminar Airflow (TLA) machine filters out allergy particles, known as allergens, and is being trialled by doctors at Southampton General Hospital.

By removing the particles, which increase at night when body heat and movement carry them from bedding to the nose and mouth, patients' lungs and airways are able to "rest" in clean air, according to a University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust spokesman.

Around 10% of the 5.4 million people in the UK with asthma have the most severe form, which leaves them unable to control their symptoms, resulting in frequent attacks, despite taking high-strength medicines.

Professor Peter Howarth, a specialist in asthma and allergy at Southampton General Hospital, said: "While the majority of asthmatics are able to control their symptoms with medication, around one in 10 regularly experiences life-threatening symptoms and attacks for which current treatments are insufficient.

"There is a desperate need for new and innovative treatment options for patients who suffer from severe asthma and this is an extremely exciting device which offers the hope of real progress for this vulnerable patient group."

The £1.2m study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme, will involve 222 adults.

Belfast Telegraph


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