Monday October 14, 2019

Air purifiers a good way to stay away from major respiratory diseases: Doctors

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New Delhi: In order to prevent respiratory diseases caused by indoor air pollution, doctors suggest people to install air purifiers at home which can prove helpful in preventing them.

According to doctors, air purifiers are becoming more reliable for people in cities because pollutants released indoors were 1,000 times more likely to reach the lungs than pollutants released outdoors.

More than 5.5 million people worldwide die prematurely every year due to household and outdoor air pollution, and India and China together account for 55 percent of these deaths, research has found.

Air pollution has come up as one of the major health challenges of modern Indian cities. With increasing respiratory problems, it is now important to know about pollutants, and their health hazards.

“Air purifiers are emerging as a good way to stay away from major respiratory diseases caused by indoor air pollution,” said Raj Kumar, head of respiratory allergy and applied immunology at Vallabhbhai Patel Chest Institute.

He said recent studies have revealed the strong link between major respiratory and lung diseases due to air pollution, which clearly indicated the need to cut down the sources of indoor air pollution.

With the World Health Organization (WHO) declaring air quality of Indian metropolitan cities as the worst in the world, healthcare professionals are registering a sharp rise in respiratory problems, especially in immuno-compromised population like children, elderly and people with health issues or malnutrition.

Himanshu Garg, head of respiratory and critical care at Artemis Hospital, said: “In India, we have a long-standing tradition of burning of ‘incense sticks’ and ‘dhoop’ that could increase the concentration of particulate matter (PM) by about 15 times more than the permitted levels.”

“Smoke emitted by these releases harmful pollutants. Along with this, smoke from tobacco and cooking and dust from carpets, furniture and curtains, etc. add to the indoor air pollution.”

“Health problems caused can be reduced by installing air purifiers, which bring down the percentage of pollutants in the air,” said Garg. (IANS, Image source: austinair.com)

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Eye Drops Exhibit Potential for Treating Dry Eye Disease

Researchers demonstrates that patients with dry eye disease experience reduced signs and symptoms of the condition in response to a new Drops for Eyes treatment.

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Research has found new drops for Eyes treat dry eye disease by knocking the immune system out of this cycle. Pixabay

Researchers, found that Eye Drops have capability for treating dry eye disease. Scientists,including one of Indian-origin, have identified the presence of a specific type of antibody, called anti-citrullinated protein autoantibodies, or ACPAs, in human tear fluid.

They also demonstrated that patients with dry eye disease experienced reduced signs and symptoms of the condition in response to a new eye drop treatment — made from pooled human antibodies — that targets ACPAs, said the study published in the journal The Ocular Surface.

“The burden of autoimmune dry eye is much greater than just having an occasional feeling of dryness, it can severely compromise quality of life to the point of disability and can compromise a person’s vision,” said Indian-origin researcher and study’s author Sandeep Jain, Professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago.

In the study, the researchers identified ACPAs as another cause of eye inflammation that also contributes to the development of these webs, which Jain calls “a vicious cycle of inflammation”.

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During the research, 27 participants with severe dry eyes diseases participated in the trial. Pixabay

The new eye drops treat dry eye disease by knocking the immune system out of this cycle, at least partially.

The drops are formulated using pooled antibodies — which are made from immune globulins processed from the donated blood of thousands of individuals, all containing varied types of antibodies — that counteract the negative effects of ACPAs.

The phase I/II drug trial compared the antibody-based eye drops with eye drops without the antibodies.

During the study, 27 participants with severe dry eye disease participated in the trial.

The participants were randomised into two groups. One group was given eye drops made from pooled antibodies and instructed to administer one drop to each eye twice daily for eight weeks.

The control group was given the same instructions with eye drops made without antibodies.

The researchers evaluated patients’ symptoms through questionnaires and measured the extent of corneal damage and the amount of pro-inflammatory biomarkers on the surface of the eye before and for the duration of the study.

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Drops for Eyes containing pooled antibodies may be safe and effective for treating dry eye disease. Pixabay

They found that people using antibody-based eye drops had a statistically significant and clinically meaningful reduction in corneal damage at eight weeks compared with the control group.
In the test group, the amount of pro-inflammatory biomarkers — or dry areas — also was reduced on the surface of the eye.

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“The data from this early clinical trial suggests that eye drops containing pooled antibodies may be safe and effective for treating dry eye disease and we look forward to conducting larger randomised trials to definitively prove its efficacy,” Jain added. (IANS)