The regular and constant use of inhaler in asthma patients may be reduced by using new breathing exercises.
Research conducted by Sydney's Woolcock Institute of Medical Research and Melbourne's Alfred and published previously in Thorax, showed that breathing techniques helped participants in the study decrease the use of their reliever inhaler by than 86 percent and halved the dose of their preventer inhaler.
Professor Christine Jenkins, Head of Asthma Research at the Woolcock Institute demonstrates two sets of exercises - one set is for practising daily, the other is for use when trying to relieve early asthma symptoms.
"The research study was designed to measure the effect of two very different exercise regimes on a person's asthma symptoms, lung function, use of medication and quality of life," Jenkins said.
"However it found no evidence to favour one breathing technique over the other. Instead, both groups of exercises were associated with a dramatic reduction in reliever use. Using either type of exercise was effective in markedly reducing the use of reliever medication. A reduction in inhaled corticosteroid (ICS) dose was also achieved, probably resulting from trial participation and clinical care in the study," she added.
According to Jenkinsm the results of undertaking the exercises regularly could be particularly beneficial to the management of patients with mild asthma symptoms, who use a reliever frequently.
"Our study suggests that breathing exercises as a first-line symptom treatment can help to reinforce the message of relaxation and self-efficacy and provide a deferral strategy for beta-agonist use," she said.
"The presentation advises a person to do the exercises twice a day and also whenever they experience asthma symptoms.
"We hope that people with asthma will avail themselves of the information, presented in this easily understood format, and see it as a complementary approach to their asthma management," she added.