ATLANTA, March 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- It's the missing piece of the puzzle for asthma and allergy sufferers: what allergens are in the air they're breathing.
A scientific study using a novel patented plug-and-play air sampler, coupled with sensitive lab testing, has provided the first-ever extensive statistical measure of airborne allergens in homes.
Implications for asthma and allergy sufferers and their doctors are significant.
"Findings suggest allergens are now easily and reliably measurable in their airborne state, which may better reflect what asthma and allergy patients face at home,'' said Dr. Paul Detjen, a Chicago allergist and Medical Director for Inspirotec, creator of the new technology.
The research was presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology.
"This is an important educational tool, allowing patients and their doctors to know for the first time precisely what airborne allergens they have in their homes,'' said Inspirotec Chief Scientific Officer Julian Gordon, the biophysicist who developed the air-sampling device.
"This leads to more focused remediation measures than previously possible,'' Gordon said.
For years, collected dust has served as a surrogate for assessing exposure to allergens.
"But every physician will tell you that it's what you breathe in, what's in the air, that really matters,'' said Prasanthi Gandhi, co-founder and CEO of Inspirotec.
Asthma and allergy sufferers visit their doctors and are tested to determine what they're allergic to. "The missing piece of the puzzle is what they're exposed to. Exposure triggers the symptoms,'' said Gandhi, a life-long asthma and allergy sufferer.
The study used Inspirotec's unique air sampling technology to establish unique profiles for 75 homes, providing an initial framework of median values that can be used as a guide and as the basis for future large-scale trials.
Patients from five allergists' practices received the devices, digital temperature and humidity readers, and lifestyle questionnaires. The devices – small and quiet yet more powerful than available commercial technology – were placed by the patients in their own bedrooms. After five days, patients returned devices to Inspirotec labs, where the air samples were tested for 13 common allergens, including dust mite, dog, cat, mouse, mold, cockroach and pollen.
The study validated effectiveness, and also offered new insights into environmental allergens.
Key correlations included number of pets and pet allergens; humidity and dust mite allergens; and HEPA filter use and reduced levels of multiple allergens.
There were surprising findings, too. For example, keeping the cat out of the bedroom did not significantly reduce cat allergens in the air, contrary to advice typically given to patients allergic to cats. And removing the dog from the bedroom made only a slight difference in allergens detected. Findings also showed a high correlation between open windows and presence of mouse allergens.
ABSTRACT #29023: High Sensitivity Measurements of Airborne Allergens Using a Patient-Operated Sampling Device: A New Technology Reveals Indoor Aerobiome
Exhibit Hall B2 (Georgia World Congress Center, Building B)