Category: Topics for Medical Professionals  

The Unified Airway

The unified airway is a way to think about the respiratory tree in illness as a single functional (or dysfunctional) unit.  Inflammatory (allergic or infectious) conditions of the nasal and sinus passages are linked to asthma in many ways:

Epidemiology
80% of asthmatics have allergic rhinitis
25% of allergic rhinitis patients have asthma
Risk of developing asthma is 3X higher in children with allergic rhinitis

Physiology
Naso-pulmonary reflex: Nasal irritants reflexively causes bronchoconstriction
Mouth-breathing (absence of nasal conditioning of air) aggravates exercise-induced asthma

Response to Treatment
Nasal steroid sprays improves both rhinitis and asthma symptoms
Proper surgical and medical management of chronic sinusitis leads to improved asthma