Asthma Treatment: Inherently Illogical

December 3rd, 2007

A recent article in the NY TImes discussed recently discovered hazards in certain asthma drugs. Hazards aside, most patients are never told how the medical management of asthma is basically illogical for sufferers of widespread extrinsic/reactive lung problems. I thought I would try to explain it to the Times in 150 words or less.

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Re: Reuters article, “Stronger Warnings Advised on Asthma Drug” (11/29/07)

To the Editor:

Medical management is NOT the major issue in asthma. In fact, it is a deterrent to solving the real problems and their economic implications.

According to the American Lung Association, more than 22 million asthmatics cost this country over 19 billion annually in direct health care costs and lost productivity.

My doctor concurred with my conclusions about the cycle of treatment:

1. Contaminant enters lungs (e.g. diesel exhaust, perfume chemicals etc).

2. Respiratory system constricts to prevent further entry of irritants.

3. Rescue inhaler reverses constriction, allowing MORE contaminants to enter.

4. Resulting inflammation requires steroids; infections develop requiring antibiotics.

Cycle repeats with increasing damage to the body from irritants and drug effects.

We can either address the pollution brought into our homes and offices (ever looked at how little is revealed on our product labels?), or continue the journey to economic collapse from the costs of largely preventable ailments.

Barbara Rubin

Categories: Letters, NY Times

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