Wondering if anyone has any experience with Salt Rooms? A new one just opened up in the St. Louis, MO area and I send the info to our pulm to get his reaction. The owners opened because their 9 year old daughter had severa asthma and he told me that they have several individuals with CF who come on a regular basis and are seeing decreased infections, coughing, dr's visits, and antibiotics.
We are currently not doing any kind of salt treatment with our son who is 21 months, but the winter months are hard as far as infections go - I thought this might be something to check out, but wanted to see if anyone else had any experience. They don't let 2 individuals with CF in the room at the same time and have a session in between to make sure there is no cross contamination.
If your in the STL area, website is: www.mysaltspa.com
I've never experienced one, but guess I'd have the same concerns as I would at the hospital, clinic, etc. I would ask if they sanitize the chairs and surfaces between ANY appointments as some germs can live on surfaces not just for hours, but days.
Photos of some of the salt rooms I've seen show lawn type chairs and some have plastic toys which tend to remind me of the dreaded waiting room toys. <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-smile.gif" border="0">
I am such a huge salt advocate. Salt rooms are absolutely amazing. Make sure they have a halogenerator and that it is actually halotherapy and not speleotherapy. Inhaling salt is naturally antibacterial. The cf clinic in Orlando is actually partnering with a salt room to build one in hospital. Expect this to be huge in the near future. I have experienced them first hand and I also took my son with cf to one when he was sick at 19 months. Ever since we have nebbed hypertonic saline. We are also trying to build one here. Make sure if you take your child, that you tell them about the cf. That way they don't schedule with other people. Message me if you want more info ;-)
Yeah, I really like the concept of these places, but there are so many hurdles to overcome in the execution. Photos show heaps of salt and salt clinging to the walls, etc at many of these places. I doubt that salt is removed from the room and replaced between patients and it does not remain 'sterile' and portions of it becomes airborne with the salt being circulated in the air supply ...Salt may have antimicrobial 'properties' but there is a difference between that and acting as a disinfectant. We'd never be content with salt acting as the disinfectant between patients at cf clinic or even the pediatrician, and these places are designed to attract sick people.
I think using salt as part of our therapy with cf patients makes a lot of sense (we are loving hypertonic saline for Emily) but doing it in a way where we risk exposure to other people's germs is taking a risk.
Actually there have been studies done on the benefits of salt rooms and cystic fibrosis. It was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006. The study was done basically on halotherapy and speleotherapy. Halotherapy is where a generator moves the salt (HyperSal can also be placed in this category). Speleotherapy is where you sit in a salt cave (no movement of salt through the air). Some websites are <a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="http://www.saltroomorlando.com/salt-caves-respiratory-relief-symptoms/">Salt Caves</a>http://www.saltroomorlando.com/salt-caves-respiratory-relief-symptoms/ and <a target=_blank class=ftalternatingbarlinklarge href="http://www.saltrooms.com.au/scientific-articles.php">Studies</a>http://www.saltrooms.com.au/scientific-articles.php. I can't find the link to the journal. Grr. Anyway, I am certainly not trying to convice someone to go if they are not comfortable. I do know that the one we went to in Orlando was very aware of CF and they santitized the toys between sessions. We also always got the room to ourselves. We were never in contact with anyone else. But, if you aren't comfortable, certainly don't go or take your child. Hypertonic saline via nebulizer is cheaper and WONDERFUL. I just speak of the salt rooms, after taking myself and my sick child there and seeing the results. A friend in Australia actually had her CF dr presribe salt therapy (as did ours).Good luck! :-D
I'd say 21 months is a little young for a salt room only because toddlers tend to touch their faces more than anyone else but once he gets older I'd say give it a try. I know when I spend a week or 2 at the beach I feel better than any other time of the year so I think salt air is the best medication for us. Maybe you could try it out yourself first to see how you like it and if you feel it's safe for your son.
That's it, we just need to move to FL - we love it there anyway!! Seriously, thanks for the responses. We did end up going to the St. Louis Salt Room on Monday and it was fine. We were in the room by ourselves - my son sat right in front of me and played with the beach toys. The owner was fully aware of my son having CF and takes extra precautions for people with CF - disinfecting toys, chairs, etc. There is no way they could remove the salt from the floors very often because that would cost them a fortune. This is Halotherapy like Catherine said.
I don't really know what I expected out of it - it was boring - 45 minutes of trying to keep a 21 month old entertained - not to eat or throw salt was tiny bit of an issue. For the most part, he was very content just playing in the salt. There was no smell, only an occasional taste of salt. All I know is, my son and I slept really good that night and he is having a fabulous week - I don't know that I can attribute it to the salt room, or just a good week! The idea is to go more consectively for like 10-20 sessions, but we live too far away to do that right now. I am not ruling it out, but I was just more curious than anything.
Our pulmonologist was not opposed to us trying it - he just said there is no research to show it is effective. We also take our son to the chiropractor once a week for adjustments - not sure how effective that is either, but he had a decent winter/spring since we started (minus a 6-day hospitalization because of his weight/and had a bronch done). Maybe if nothing else, we need to discuss starting inhaled saline because we don't currentlyl do that.