Asthma - climate therapy in the tunnel can help

Asthma - climate therapy in the tunnel can help

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Allergen-free breathing air in the thermal gallery reduces seizures

A bad cough goes through the body, breathing is difficult and the air becomes scarce - this is what an asthma attack feels like. About ten percent of children and five percent of adults regularly suffer from shortness of breath, which often feels life-threatening. Asthma is a complex disease in which numerous genetic and environmental factors interact. A special form of climate therapy that has been known and rediscovered for over 100 years is the tunnel or cave therapy in natural caves or former mines. As in the high mountains and at the sea, fewer pollen fly there. There is even an almost dust and pollen-free atmosphere underground.

Radon heat therapy in former mines once again occupies a special position among climate therapies. In addition to the beneficial climatic conditions, radon naturally emerges from the rock. For therapeutic use, asthmatics take a train to the therapy stations. "Patients absorb the noble gas via the skin and lungs in small amounts in an approximately one-hour therapy session that they spend lying down," reports Univ.-Doz. Dr. Bertram Hölzl, radon expert and medical director of the Gasteiner Heilstollen. "In the body, it has a demonstrably immunostabilizing and anti-inflammatory effect and thus addresses the levels that doctors consider to be the causes of chronic respiratory diseases." The climate prevailing in the radon thermal tunnel is interesting for asthmatics through another effect: high air humidity and temperatures above 37.5 degrees lead to the so-called hyperthermia effect, which triggers a kind of desired therapeutic fever in the body. Experts attribute this to the antispasmodic effect that is so important for those affected.

The particularly pure breathing air typical of tunnels also contributes to the recovery of the respiratory tract. In the tunnel, debris, rock walls and hair-thin mountain cracks under the earth act as large natural filters and moisturize the air that penetrates the surface of the earth. In addition to pollen, hair, fibers and other allergy-causing substances, pathogenic fungi and spores are also missing. This stable air purity with almost complete absence of floating dust and allergens and the high humidity have an anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, expectorant and antispasmodic effect. “The air, which is 70 to 100 percent saturated with moisture, also calms the bronchial mucosa,” says Dr. Hölzl. "After a three-week course of treatment, patients report a sustained improvement in symptoms and significantly less need for cortisone," says Dr. "Seizures and infections occur much less often." The effect of cave therapy on asthma has also been scientifically proven. After staying in the healing gallery, the lung function values ​​improve measurably. (pm)

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