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tommac
2010-Dec-23, 04:08 PM
My son has asthma and at night has trouble breathing. We noticed that when we spend time at the beach and especially when we went on a cruise he got much better and had none of the effects of asthma or alergies that he usually has.



Normally he is on an inhaler but my wife and I dont like to give that to him because it is all steroids and he gets really hyper. When he was on the cruise he had no symptoms and even though we brought the inhaler and nebulizer we didnt need to use it.



Then a halotherapy store opened up in my town and it seems that salt air is very beneficial for many resperatory disorders including allegies and asthma. However it is quite expensive and not covered by insurance. Basically $40 / hour x 2 / week. so roughly $320 / month.



So I looked online to see if there were ways I could do this at my house. I found these two products:
Salt Therpy Ultrasonic Salinizer For Chronic Respiratory Diseases (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B001N2IPLU/atkinsdietmailin)
Original Himalayan Crystal Salt Inhaler (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B000GJQQ9O/atkinsdietmailin)



For the first product it seems that the reviewer gave it a negative review saying that it just doesn use that much salt and no where near the 7% that studies have shown help resperatory issues.



The second one however seemed to get rave reviews.



Any thoughts .... I figured I would throw it out there for discussion. I am usually sceptical for homeopathic solutions but I seem to buy into this idea for some reason.

BigDon
2010-Dec-23, 04:59 PM
On the cruise was because you had travelled beyond the range of pollens responsible for making you stuffy.

Sailors have known about this for centuries. Especially if it was a Pacific cruise with the prevailing westerly winds. I used to look forward to it.

PetersCreek
2010-Dec-23, 06:05 PM
Almost exactly my thoughts. It's quite a leap to assume that just because you travel to an area with salt air that it must be responsible for an abatement of symptoms. It should be noted that halotherapy or speleotherapy originally involved traveling to salt mines or caves where pollens and/or other irritating particulates are reduced or absent. Don notes a similar condition for travel asea.

Gillianren
2010-Dec-23, 06:35 PM
The option other than that it doesn't work is that your doctor is intentionally giving your child an expensive solution to a problem which can be settled much more cheaply. I also have to say that there's only so far I trust the person charging $20 an hour for "salt air" without credentials to tell me if it works or not. Halite lamps are pretty, though, and I've always rather wanted one.

Swift
2010-Dec-23, 08:06 PM
I don't know about halotherapy, but very dry air bothers my sinuses (I've had sinus problems since I was a teenager). This is particularly a problem in the winter time, when the air is dry, particularly indoor heated air.

We have humidifiers in our house, and this year I put a small one in my office at work. No salt, but the moisture helps a lot. I also will use a saline spray - it is just a nose spray in a little plastic bottle, and the liquid is just normal saline. It helps to put moisture in my nose and sinuses. I don't know that the salt makes any difference - I just assumed that was put it in their to keep things from growing in the liquid.

The nose sprays are only a couple of bucks a bottle and you can find them in any grocery or drug store. You can pick up room humidifiers for $30 or $40.

jfribrg
2010-Dec-23, 11:04 PM
There may be something to it. There are saline sprays available to help open nasal passages. They work for me. Salty air may have the same effect on athsmatic lungs. I have allergy induced athsma and always do better when I'm at the shore. I always assumed it was because of the absence of allergins in the air, but this thread has me wondering if maybe there are two benefits: no allergins and saline mist in the air.

Gillianren
2010-Dec-24, 12:07 AM
So the statement that no one's ever shown any evidence that the salt itself influences anything made you think it might?

jfribrg
2010-Dec-26, 02:09 PM
Apparently, there is some research into the effect of saline on asthma, although it seems that there is no conclusive evidence yet. Here (http://clinicaltrialsfeeds.org/clinical-trials/show/NCT01073527) is a link to one study.

geonuc
2010-Dec-26, 02:17 PM
In any case, what you're describing is not a homeopathic therapy.

megrfl
2010-Dec-26, 03:32 PM
Oh, I'm a mess. I'm asthmatic with allergies out the wazoo. Today I'm wheezing pretty good and my sinuses, as usual, are stuffy which includes pain around my eyes. I live about three to five miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean with inlets of brackish water within walking distance.

I sincerely don't think that salt air is a fix, spending time at the beach can at times make things worse, at least for me.

My inhaler is my buddy and I've come to accept that and so should everyone else with asthma.

Tommac, don't waste your money.

Swift
Recently, my doctor suggested using a Nettie pot. I was grossed out by the idea, but I thought I'd give it a shot. The results were an internal lingering scent of of ammonia and a pounding headache that lasted for days, I do not exaggerate, but it might work for you. :o)

captain swoop
2010-Dec-26, 05:50 PM
Well, the Sceptic Dictionary (www.skepdic.com) has no entry for halotherapy but I do find a lot of woo sites.

Try asking on the jref forum (forums.randi.org in the Science, Mathematics, Medicine, and Technology forum. Bound to get some good feedback on it there.

mike alexander
2010-Dec-26, 06:05 PM
I'd just note that even though they are in a way connected, something that helps your sinuses has no a priori reason to help your lungs.

Swift
2010-Dec-26, 06:52 PM
Swift
Recently, my doctor suggested using a Nettie pot. I was grossed out by the idea, but I thought I'd give it a shot. The results were an internal lingering scent of of ammonia and a pounding headache that lasted for days, I do not exaggerate, but it might work for you. :o)
I've had other people suggest Nettie pots, I had the same reaction - more fright than grossed, just imagining everytime I've gotten water up my nose. Thanks for proving my fear. ;)

Trebuchet
2010-Dec-27, 01:41 AM
I've had other people suggest Nettie pots, I had the same reaction - more fright than grossed, just imagining everytime I've gotten water up my nose. Thanks for proving my fear. ;)

I'm with you. I've seen those at the pharmacy but don't think I could do it. My wife has used a nasal saline thing that's a sort of spray can that shoots the solution in. I tried it but couldn't hack it. And as megrfl said, it gave me a headache.

mike alexander
2010-Dec-27, 07:14 PM
There is something Seinfeldian about those pot things. Maybe it could be added to Festivus between the Airing of Grievances and Feats of Strength; the Washing of the Sinuses.

mike alexander
2010-Dec-27, 07:15 PM
One can obtain Halo, Kitty kits from import stores.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Dec-30, 06:58 PM
We have humidifiers in our house, and this year I put a small one in my office at work. No salt, but the moisture helps a lot. I also will use a saline spray - it is just a nose spray in a little plastic bottle, and the liquid is just normal saline. It helps to put moisture in my nose and sinuses. I don't know that the salt makes any difference - I just assumed that was put it in their to keep things from growing in the liquid.
I expect it's an isotonic solution (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isotonic_solutions#Isotonicity), in which case it's to prevent stressing the cell walls of the nasal passage.

tashirosgt
2010-Dec-31, 03:30 PM
My mother would have us rinse our mouth with salt water after we lost a baby tooth to "toughen" our gums. I wonder if salt would toughen nasal passages.

Water squirted in one's nose stings, but a saline solution is more comfortable - if not comfortable in the absolute sense. What causes the stinging? Is it the deformation of cell walls, as mentioned in HenrikOlsen's link?

jfribrg
2010-Dec-31, 04:10 PM
I think that the nasal passages are made from the same stuff that slugs are made of, and we all know what happens when you put salt on a slug.

lek
2011-Jan-03, 06:06 PM
I've had other people suggest Nettie pots, I had the same reaction - more fright than grossed, just imagining everytime I've gotten water up my nose. Thanks for proving my fear. ;)

It's not that bad really. With right temperature and salt it isn't uncomfortable at all, if the whole nose thingy is open enough to begin with. Clears it a bit and hopefully some pollen gets flushed out also.
Tried that a couple times when i had a flu and couldn't manage to get much water through, but also couldn't get it out properly either. Then it may go to ears when you sneeze and one unpleasant day or couple is to be expected :p

I still use it sometimes, especially if i suspect its allergies causing problems.

Swift
2011-Jan-03, 06:27 PM
My mother would have us rinse our mouth with salt water after we lost a baby tooth to "toughen" our gums. I wonder if salt would toughen nasal passages.

I don't know your mom's thinking about it, but as a child I had braces on my teeth and had a lot of trouble with gum infections. My dentist had me rinse with salt water as an antiseptic. But I wouldn't call that "toughening" my gums.