Yes, you guessed it this post is about Hyper Tonic Saline (HTS). For all my non CF readers, HTS is a sterile salty solution that is inhaled while doing airway clearance. Because CF airways lack salt and water, researchers believed that HTS would help clear the thick mucus from the lungs. I BELIEVE THEY ARE RIGHT!!!
Before I talk about HTS and my CF I would like to digress. I love the ocean but I didn’t really realize why I loved it so much. Of course I loved vacationing to the beach for obvious reasons. #1 reason to go to the beach, to see my girlfriend in a bikini. Yes that girlfriend is now Maria :) (Smile as you read this babe!)
To be honest, every year I felt better for that week we would stay at the ocean. I was able to clear more mucus out of my lungs easier and in general I felt my breathing was better. I never really understood why this was though. Maybe it was because there was less stress on vacation or more time for me to sleep in. Generally a little more sleep makes me feel better. Before Maria and I were married we considered moving to the coast to take advantage of how different I felt. Well that didn’t happen though as family would be hours away.
After vacation, when I went to my CF clinic I would tell the Dr. how different I felt when I was at the ocean. He assured me it was probably due to the salty air. Hmm, I guess this makes sense doesn’t it.
So the years passed and then recently at my past clinic visit my Dr asked me do you breath in HTS? I responded no I do not. He said well I think you should experiment with this to see how you feel. I was hesitant at first because I have heard and read how some CFers do not like HTS at all. Some of the reasons are its irritating to the throat, makes me cough to no end, and triggers hemoptysis (coughing blood).
Well I have been using HTS for close to 2 months now. When I go back to my clinic this coming Monday I will have this to say…. I LOVE HTS!!! I love this salty mist for many reasons. I could go on and on about it but here are a few of them. I feel that my airway clearance has improved 10 fold with HTS. I produce more mucus than ever before while doing my vest. One of the great things about HTS is that you can inhale this while doing your vest. So no extra time is required for this medicine. Overall, I feel that my lungs feel healthier. A couple weeks ago my mom mentioned to me what happened to your cough? I haven’t heard you cough all day. She asked me is it because of the HTS you have been doing? I responded yes it is mom and I love it. It is great that people even notice that I cough less!!!
Have any of you CFer’s experienced chest tightness? I experience this in the morning for some odd reason but after starting HTS I have really eliminated the tightness. I will still feel tightness in the morning but after doing my vest and HTS its gone for the entire day!
So now for the negatives……Well I really do not have anything negative to say about my new friend, Mr. Salty mist. I do not have any of the common side effects like a soar throat or hemoptysis. I guess for me the worst part of it is the nebulizer’s need to be sanitized every use. I feel like I am boiling these neb cups every other day but oh well I love how this drug makes me feel.
For any CFer who is not using this as a part of airway clearance, the next time you are at clinic ask about HTS. I love HTS as you can tell and I do not miss a single treatment of it. I cannot wait to see what my pulmonary function test scores are this coming Monday!!
For my cysters and fibros out there what are your thoughts on HTS? Has it improved how you feel and your PFT scores?
|Wish I was here now!|