NEWORLEANS- In Southeast Louisiana, we have a higher rate of people living with asthma. It could be because of the higher humidity, mold and plant pollen. Medications work well, but some have side effects.

Now you can try a new treatment, free, that could help your asthma.

Destiny Marie has had asthma her entire life.

'I just constantly couldn't breath. I was always in the hospital when I was younger,' she remembers.

At 20, she decided to add something to her busy schedule with nursing school classes. While she controls her asthma pretty well with medications and inhalers, Destiny has come to LSU Health Sciences Center to join the first, big, nationwide study in conjunctions with the American Lung Association, to see if sleeping with a CPAP machine will help.

'What we know is that there is evidence supporting the idea that in asthmatic patients, wear CPAP machines overnight, their asthma during the day is actually improved,' said Dr. Kyle Happel, a Pulmonologist at LSU Health Sciences Center.

But how often should it be worn? How long will it help keep the airways more open? That is why doctors are looking for answers and need adults with asthma to join this study.

'What we're looking at with this current study is to see how well people can do on breathing tests during the day after using this CPAP machine for several weeks,' said Dr. Happel.

Some of the people in the study will have cleaner, filtered air circulating, but others will get filtered air pushed in the airways with pressure so doctors can compare outcomes of the two groups. You can still stay on your medication if you are accepted into the study. Destiny not only wanted to advance asthma research, but she also wants to see if her condition can be helped without more medication.

'Because if there's a cure for asthma in the future, I will be the first on that row,' said Marie.

Doctors are looking for adults 18 to 60 who have asthma that is under control.

You can't be a smoker or have sleep apnea. You will get seven visits at the clinic with compensation for being in the study.

Call LSU Health Sciences Center at 504-568-3450 to see if you qualify.

The study is being done at 18 sites around the U.S. To find sites in other states click here:

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