Ionized water aerosols have been suggested to exert beneficial health effects on pediatric allergic asthma. Their effect was evaluated in a randomized controlled clinical trial as part of a summer asthma camp.
Asthmatic allergic children (n = 54) spent 3 weeks in an alpine asthma camp; half of the group was exposed to water aerosol of an alpine waterfall for 1 hour per day, whereas the other half spent the same time at a "control site". Immunological analysis, lung function testing, and fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) testing were performed during the stay, and sustaining effects were evaluated 2 months later. Symptom score testing was done over a period of 140 days.
The water aerosol group showed a significant improvement in all lung function parameters, whereas only the peak expiratory flow improved in the control group. All patients showed a significant improvement in symptom score and a significant decrease in FeNO after the camp. Only the water aerosol group exhibited a long-lasting effect on asthma symptoms, lung function, and inflammation in the follow-up examination. Induction of interleukin (IL)-10 and regulatory T (Treg) cells was measured in both groups, with a pronounced increase in the water aerosol group. IL-13 was significantly decreased in both groups, whereas IL-5 and eosinophil cationic protein were decreased only in the water aerosol group.
Our findings confirm the induction of Treg cells and reduction in inflammation by climate therapy. They indicate a synergistic effect of water aerosols resulting in a long-lasting beneficial effect on asthma symptoms, lung function, and airway inflammation.
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