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Know about Airway Centered Disorder

On October 2, 2019, in order to raise awareness about Airway Centered Disorder and encourage everyone to seek out a screening for the disorder, the Foundation for Airway Health has declared the day Global Airway Health Day, or O2 Day.

Airway-Centered Disorder (ACD) otherwise referred as upper airway disorder is a hidden airway problem and can affect breathing 24 hours a day – including and especially during sleep. ‘Breathing’, the first function of our body when we arrive to this world is so important not just to stay alive but to stay healthy and alive.

Upper airway disorders affects the way we breathe. It impacts nasal breathing thereby leading to mouth breathing habit.

Mouth Breathing is a common breathing problem wherein an individual bypasses critical functions of breathing through the nose. Be it due to habit or due to blocked nasal passages (Allergies, Deviated Nasal Septum, enlarged adenoids) the impact is negative on the quality of life of the individual.

Most healthcare providers do not realize that Mouth Breathing is a complex health concern that can lead to sleep apnea, speech impediments, and improper facial growth.

Children with Mouth Breathing if left untreated may develop long, narrow faces, narrow mouths, high palatal vaults, dental malocclusion, gummy smile and many other unattractive facial features. Also, studies have shown that due to their lack of sleep they perform poor in academics as well.

Airway centered disorders is a disorder which requires timely diagnosis and care not from one but multiple healthcare professionals.

Collaboration is the new medicine!

With research data demonstrating link between oral and general health, and more so between the mode of breathing and facial development, we have an opportunity to collaborate with other health care providers forming “Interprofessional Teams” that can deliver preventive, interceptive and corrective care to the society with the goal of improving overall health outcomes of patients. Removing the boundaries between each and every speciality will allow all health care providers to change their attitude and approach to health outcomes. We have to work together to focus on addressing the health needs of the community using our collaborative efforts.

There are certain health disorders which can and must be addressed by not just one, but by a multi-professional team. Mouth Breathing (upper airway disorders) is one such health issue which requires Interprofessional team with Paediatrician, Otorhinolaryngologist and an Orthodontist working as a team.

When we work together, we learn together.

The signs and symptoms often associated with Airway Centered Disorder and that should be brought to a health care professional, such as a pediatrician, ENT, Orthodontist or Pedodontist, include, but are not limited to:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Frequent nasal blocks
  • Frequent sore throat, cold & cough
  • Snoring
  • Small size jaws
  • Absent lip seal
  • Long & narrow face
  • Speech Problems
  • Concentration Problems
  • Behavioral Issues
  • Chronic Headaches or Neck Pain
  • Abnormal upper & lower teeth bite
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Impaired Immune Function
  • Restless Sleep
  • Trouble Falling or Staying Asleep

For more information about Airway-Centered Disorder, visit “Breathe Healthy”.

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