United Airways - a holistic view of respiratory health

It is all connected as one.

Until recently, rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal cavity) and asthma have been seen and treated as separate respiratory disorders, but many experts have moved towards the concept of upper and lower airways that constitute a unique connected system, named the “united airway” system.

Why is this important to know?

As these two airways are connected an infection or disease in one airway can easily spread to the other if not taken care of. Any disease that affects one airway is likely to affect the other airway.

This is the reason why Upper Respiratory Infections (URI) can increase the risk of developing Lower Respiratory Infections (LRI).

The united airway symptoms include a cough, sneezing, runny noses, and difficulty breathing.

Blocked noses and cold symptoms are the number one reason parents visit a pediatrician during the first 2 years of their children’s lives.

So when your child's nose is blocked, the risk of developing LRI increases. By effectively cleaning children's nasal cavities, parents can protect them from the infectious particles thriving, and ultimately being inhaled into the lungs.

Results from a recent OMRON Healthcare study showed that parents who simply clean their child’s nose adequately can reduce the length and intensity of a runny or blocked nose, as well as their need for medication.

Findings also prove that keeping the nasal cavity clean might play a role in preventing the onset of more severe lower airways complications such as bronchitis, pneumonia, or asthma. So your grandmother was right when she kept insisting you blow your nose when you were a child.

What can we do now that we cannot access our trusted pediatrician during this COVID-19 pandemic?

Let’s have a look at what we can be doing at home to reduce the impact of the diseases in the lower airways.

Let’s understand the reason why keeping noses mucus free is so essential?

  • The dripping of mucus down children’s throats is a well-known trigger of coughing - the most common lower airways ailment.
  • By removing this mucus from the upper airways using an automatic nasal aspirator, coughing is reduced.
  • This is because it removes infectious particles from the nose which would otherwise be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Also parents can administer a lower number of drugs to their children to combat coughing.

So in summary - by effectively cleaning children’s nasal cavities, parents can protect them from infectious particles thriving, and ultimately being inhaled into the lungs. Clearing the airways can help increase the efficiency of a nebulizer, so that more medication can travel down to the respiratory tract where it’s needed most. This way, parents can also ensure they’re minimising the amount of medicine they give their children.


References:
https://www.asthma.org.uk/advice/triggers/coronavirus-covid-19/what-should-people-with-asthma-do-now/