Asthma sufferers could reduce the number of attacks just by learning to relax and change the way they breathe, researchers have discovered.
Most asthma sufferers tend to hyperventilate during an attack, but breathing fast and deeply make the problem worse, and it lowers the body's carbon dioxide levels. This restricts blood flow to the brain, and it can also irritate already hypersensitive bronchial passages.
Most asthma sufferers 'overbreathe' in this way, and it also makes them more susceptible to further attacks.
Researchers at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas have recognised this vicious cycle, and have come up with a four-week programme which they are testing on 120 asthma sufferers. They will be using biofeedback techniques to teach asthma sufferers how to breathe properly.
(Source: Southern Methodist University: http://blog.smu.edu/research/2009/08/ritz_meuret_asthma_research.html)