Lung Flute being tested to treat asthma

A simple plastic device that you blow into has been shown to help people with emphysema, and now it’s being tested in in asthmatics.

The Lung Flute was invented in Buffalo. It doesn’t make music, but it does give you good vibrations – and that helps clear mucus out of your lungs.

Tammy Recckio has had asthma all her life. She’s well controlled on medication, but she’s trying the Lung Flute to see if it will provide more relief.

“I would do that 10 times, and then you take a break for a while, because sometimes you get a little dizzy,” she said.

Its Mylar reed vibrates at a low frequency most of us can’t hear, but the vibrations are transferred to the airways in the lung.

Dr. Stanley Schwartz explained, “So when the lungs pick up this vibration, they amplify the vibration, and that’s what helps mobilize the sputum.”

Dr. Schwartz and Dr. James Cumella are conducting the study. The Lung Flute has already been approved for people with emphysema, or COPD.

There are many different types of asthma.

Dr. James Cumella of Advanced Allergy and Asthma Care of Western New York said, “Some people do produce more bronchorrhea or mucus in their airways, and we would like to know if this is helpful for all patients or a subset of patients that have asthma.”

People in the study will use it twice a day for three months, and they’ll have tests of their lung function during the study.

Recckio can feel something happening.

“You can hear it, you really can’t feel it in your lungs, but you can feel it afterwards cause you want to cough, so you can kind of feel that, yeah,” she said.

Dr. Cumella said, “At the present time, we don’t know that this is beneficial or not for asthma, and we’re hoping that you will give us some information about that.”

To learn more about the Lung Flute study, call Advanced Allergy and Asthma Care at 716-633-5277 or the Buffalo General Medical Center at 716-859-2985.

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