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The devastating Covid-19 pandemic has brought attention to the body’s airway, the upper respiratory tract that the coronavirus exploits to enter and infect our bodies. On this year’s Global Airway Health Day, experts would like to remind everyone that protecting the airway must be a priority during and beyond the pandemic.

Observed annually on Oct. 2, Global Airway Health Day was established last year by the Foundation for Airway Health and medical experts from around the world to raise awareness about the airway-centered disorder, an often undiagnosed condition that afflicts millions of people worldwide. ACD is a structural and functional condition that results in an obstruction of the upper airway, according to Dr. Howard Hindin, Foundation for Airway Health chairman. He says the disorder can affect the effort and ability to breathe 24 hours a day–especially during sleep. “ACD is a serious medical condition affecting at least 10 percent of the US population of all ages,” Hindi points out. “Yet, it remains highly underdiagnosed and misunderstood.”

‘BREATHING IS EVERYTHING’
Proper breathing is essential for good health, says Hindin, a doctor of dental surgery who is a pioneer in the relationship between dental issues and whole body health. “We’ve forgotten how to breathe,” he states. “It’s important to help ourselves to do it right and eliminate all the obstacles to accomplishing that. We have to keep in mind that breathing is everything.”

MOUTH BREATHING VS. NASAL BREATHING
One improper way to breathe may put people at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus, warns Hindin. “Mouth breathing allows an easier entry for the SARS-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19 because it offers less natural defenses than breathing through the nose,” he says. Mouth breathing can also be a sign of airway-centered disorder, he adds. “In the short term during this pandemic, we must follow the simple, basic guidelines to keep the coronavirus out and away from our bodies: wearing a face mask, washing our hands often, keeping social distancing, among others. We all can be part of the solution.” For the long term and beyond the Covid-19 crisis, Hindin also recommends that people get tested for the airway-centered disorder for better immediate and future protection.

Howard Hindin, FAH chairman

Hindin says ACD often hides behind the mask of common and various symptoms, presented as sleep problems, hyperactivity and behavioral problems in children, obesity, chronic headaches and neck pain. “Global Airway Health Day brings attention to this disorder and promotes a higher rate of proper diagnosis and treatment and in turn, a better quality of life,” he says.

MORE RISKS DUE TO ACD
ACD can lead to an increased risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s and even cancer, according to Hindin. “Treatment of ACD can significantly reduce your risk and improve day-to-day life. When a person has optimal oxygen, the whole body works less hard to function properly,” he says.

Though often associated with older and obese men, ACD affects everyone, from women to teens, to kids and infants, according to FAH. ACD underlies and drives so many conditions and remains hidden beneath other diagnoses even when it is the root cause. Luckily, ACD already has effective treatment. The problem is that most sufferers do not know they have ACD. There is an easy solution; it begins with awareness and education. The Foundation for Airway Health’s mission is to educate people on the signs and symptoms of ACD and provide them with the knowledge and confidence to find doctors to get the most optimal diagnosis and treatment possible.

Children with ACD may exhibit behavioral issues.

ACD AND CHILDREN
“ACD presents in many ways to various people. For parents, their child may exhibit behavioral or concentration issues. Arming parents with the knowledge to speak with their physician about ACD can be a life-changing event,” said Howard Hindin, Chairman, Foundation for Airway Health. “Getting the proper diagnosis for ACD is the first step. Once there, patients can begin a path to successful treatment.”

The Foundation for Airway Health is working with healthcare practitioners from around the world on education about ACD and the importance of optimal airway health for their patient’s wellbeing, as well as arming patients with knowledge in order to be their own advocate to achieve their maximum potential.

To view all the signs and symptoms related to Airway-centered Disorder, potential treatment options and to find a provider, visit www.airwayhealth.org.

About the Foundation for Airway Health: Founded in 2012, the Foundation for Airway Health (FAH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of airway-centered disorder to the general public, healthcare practitioners and the healthcare industry. Through its initiatives, FAH seeks to highlight the role airways play in overall health and well-being for all and educate clinicians to recognize this role and the importance of optimal airway physiology and sleep in the areas of health, development, performance and function. FAH also serves to help the public realize their maximum potential by championing the recognition, diagnosis and treatment of airway related disorders through collaboration, awareness, research and education.