As part of our ongoing seminar series, the Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma hosted Prof. Mike Thomas for a webinar on “Breathing Training Exercises for Asthma” on 28 July 2015.
Breathlessness refers to the subjective experience of breathing discomfort. Large variation exists in how people perceive breathlessness. Breathlessness is a common symptom of asthma. Functional breathing disorders can be mis-diagnosed as asthma and also co-occur with asthma.
Breathing exercises are a useful non-pharmacological approach to manage breathlessness. They can be a useful complement to standard asthma medications. Common elements of breathing retraining include slow regular diaphragmatic breathing, nasal breathing, hypo-ventilation and anxiety management.
There is now high-quality evidence for the efficacy of breathing exercises for asthma. Breathing exercises may be useful for anyone with asthma and uncontrolled symptoms. Breathing exercises for asthma reduce symptoms and improve asthma-related quality of life. However, exercises do not effect asthma pathophysiology or inflammation.
Breathing exercises for asthma can be accessed by referral to an appropriately trained therapist. Digital guides are also being trialled as self-help materials
Prof. Mike Thomas holds the Chair of Primary Care Research at the University of Southampton, UK, an institution with an international profile in respiratory research, and leads the community-based respiratory research programme.
His research interests centre on respiratory disease management in community settings, including the diagnosis and management of asthma and COPD and the assessment of effectiveness of pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies in every-day clinical settings. He has a particular interest in ‘real-world’ outcomes and pragmatic clinical research and has published and lectured widely on these topics.