More than two million people in Texas have at some point been diagnosed with asthma. And for some of them, inhalers and medications aren’t enough to stay out of the hospital. In 2010, the FDA approved the first non-medical treatment for severe asthma that involves heating up the airways to make breathing easier. About 1,000 people across the country – and dozens in Dallas – have had the procedure. Now it’s time to review.
If you’ve ever tried to drink something through one of those little red coffee stirrers instead of a full-sized straw, you know what it’s like to breathe with asthma.
Virginia Rady, who lives in Farmers Branch with her husband Nick, has had asthma since she was two. She’s twenty-seven, but her lungs are like those of a sixty-five year old. If something triggers her airways to twitch and close up, it could be deadly. That means avoiding everything from cats and dogs to exercise and stress.
While steroids can help, long-term use has serious side effects, including mood swings, weight gain, bone loss, even type II diabetes. So when Rady heard about a procedure that might help her drop the number of pills she takes, she was intrigued.
Read the rest of the story on our Breakthroughs blog.