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Hello, I would like to know if ionisors are good or bad for cystic fibrosis patients? Thank you in advance. H.
We thank you for this question. It does seem logical to improve the quality of the air around a patient who suffers from a chronic lung disease. The most important and effective thing to do is indeed to avoid cigarette smoke.
In the air there are positive and negative electrically charged particles, named ions. The total amount as well as the relative amount of positive and negatively charged ions changes over time and depends on the height, the location, inside or outside, the type of the weather, … It is said that with air pollution there will be less negatively charged ions in the air. If this has any effect on health or disease symptoms is not known.
Ionisors are machines that will increase the amount of negatively charged ions in the air. These machines are being promoted for quite a variety of diseases like asthma, depression etc. There is no scientific basis for the use of these devices. Although ions can limit growth of bacteria to some extent, the efficiency of ionisors to prevent occurrence of infections has not been proven. Ionisors slightly decrease the amount of allergens (=allergy provoking particles) in the air, but have no effect on symptoms nor on the use of medication in patients suffering from allergic asthma. There are no data about the use ionisors in cystic fibrosis.
Side effects from ionisors have not been described. Some of these devices can produce ozone, which can cause respiratory complaints if produced in high concentrations. At this point in time, the use of an ionisor can thus not be advised nor disencouraged.
F. Vermeulen, M. Proesmans, L. Dupont, J. Dankert-Roelse, K. De Boeck