Authors : Soumya M S1, Inbaraj G1, Chellaa R1, Pawankar R2
- Department of ENT, St Johns Medical College Hospital, Bangalore, India
- Dept. of Pediatrics, Nippon Medical School, Tokyo, Japan
Objective: Allergic rhinitis (AR) and asthma are a major global health problem in developed and developing countries like India. These diseases have an adverse impact on the patient’s quality of life (QOL) and also pose a big socio-economic burden. Yoga has shown to have some beneficial effect on improving the sleep quality, lung function and quality of life in patients with asthma. But there is no scientific study on the effect of Yoga on airway resistance in patients with AR. The aim of this study was to assess the subjective and objective effects of yoga and also to see if Yoga can be adapted as a cost cutting intervention for better control of asthma and AR.
Methods: The present study was conducted on 31 adult subjects with mild-moderate persistent AR with or without asthma. These patients were trained in specific Hatha yogasanas which are known to improve respiratory functions. The participants practised these asanas for 12 weeks. The subjective and objective outcome measures were assessed at baseline (Day 0) and at 12 weeks post yoga, using Rhinomanometry, Spirometry, Sino Nasal Outcome Test questionnaire and QOL Short Form 12.
Results: There was a significant reduction in the Total Nasal Resistance (TNR) at 150 Pa/ml/s (p<0.001) and a significant increase in Total Nasal Airflow at 150 Pa/ml/s (p<0.01) after yoga as compared to the corresponding baseline values at day 0. Indices of pulmonary function such as FVC (p<0.001), FEV1 (p<0.05), Forced mid-expiratory flow at 75% of FVC (FEF 75%) (p<0.05) and PEFR (p<0.01) showed significant improvement. QOL questionnaire, Short Form 12 showed a highly significant improvement in both physical (p<0.001) and mental (p<0.01) composite score along with significant reduction in the Sino Nasal Outcome Test score (p<0.001) post yoga as compared to the corresponding baseline values.
The direct cost of treatment such as medications and hospital visits etc., as well as the indirect cost due to loss of productivity is significantly high in patients with AR and asthma. The results of this present study conclude that the practice of yoga offers a significant advantage in patients with AR by reducing their nasal resistance, increasing nasal airflow, improving lung functions and their quality of life. Further studies are needed to analyze the immunologcal mechanisms involved in this form of therapy, the impact on acute exacerbations, the need for rescue medication and the long term effects of yoga. A true patient-physician partnership further empowers the patients compliance and adherence, thereby their function and health.