The clinical benefits of halotherapy is advocated, but the mechanisms are scarcely studied and there is not enough available clinical data. Halotherapy may influence mucolysis, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory actions, also the immunomodulator – hyposensibilizing agents. We conducted a perspective study where we use a dry-salt inhaler on patients with asthma and COPD.
The study was double-blind, randomized trial, single crossed, conducted for 4 months with 4 visits (V1 – V4). The total patient population – 128 individuals (76 – asthma and 52 – COPD stages II and III) was divided in 2 arms, crossed after first visit (V1). We instructed the patients to use the salt-inhaler 20 minutes/day. We analyzed the evolution of spirometry parameters FVC, FEV1 and PEF and a Quality of Life Questionnaire with 5 items concerning: the quality of sleep and the simptomatology.
The study revealed an improvement of all spirometry parameters after the first month of treatment with salt aerosols versus placebo. The final data showed an overall improvement of FVC by 4%, 14% improvement of the FEV1 and 25% improvement of PEF parameter – showing significant improvement in asthma patients condition. Correlating quality of life responses we found out that they were improved throughout the study by 24% showing a significant impact on the quality of life.
Correlating both the improvements of spirometry parameters and the scores from the QoL questionnaire we found that the NaCl aerosols from a dry salt inhaler (home halotherapy) seems to be efficient versus placebo when added to regular bronchodilatatory medication but further studies are necessary.