There you stand, listening to the waves softly crashing against the rocky beach. High above you, the sun is shining on the water, providing a bright blue glow to the afternoon.
As you take in the ocean breeze all around, a sense of peaceful grace comes over you. To many, this is the power of the ocean, a calm and gentle place to relax.
Does the Ocean Air Help Lung Disease?
Have you ever experienced the many effects of the ocean? If so, have you enjoyed the benefits of breathing in the ocean air and thinking how wonderful it is? Well, you are not alone.
The ocean, especially ocean air, has commonly been referred to as a source of healing for all types of ailments, including certain lung diseases. But in reality, does the ocean air actually help sufferers of lung disease?
Breath of Fresh Ocean Air: Does it Work?
For almost 200 years, people have flocked to the ocean or taken part in salt baths in order to treat certain medical conditions, such as pulmonary fibrosis or COPD.
It is commonly believed that breathing in the fresh salty air can help treat the people who suffer from these respiratory problems. Does this belief hold any merit though?
According to the President of the American Thoracic Society, Dr. Thomas W. Ferkol, there is some evidence that supports this claim. In an article published by Wall Street Journal, Dr. Ferkol mentions that a study taking place in Australia tracked the effects of the ocean air on surfers suffering from cystic fibrosis.
The study lasted 48 weeks and produced some evidence that the salt air was helping to clear out the lungs of the patients. Not only that, but the patients also showed signs of fewer flare-ups and a reduced need for certain antibiotics.
Another study has found that there are therapeutic qualities to ocean air that have helped lung disease patients as well. The study tested patients with a variety of lung diseases to see if there was a common improvement in symptoms.
While patient results were on an individual basis, these were some of the more common results from patients that breathed in the ocean air:
- Thinner mucus
- Improved lung function
- Reduced coughing
- Decreased sinus pressure
While more time and research is needed to understand the definitive health benefits of ocean air, a trip to the beach could do more good than originally thought.
Christine Kingsley, APRN is the Health and Wellness Director at the Lung Institute where she focuses on providing helpful online resources for people looking for information on various lung diseases, breathing exercises, and healthy lifestyle choices. She advocates for holistic care that involves working with your doctor to explore all options including traditional and alternative care while focusing on diet and exercise as proactive measures.