National Jewish Health

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Kunsberg-School-outside.jpgRecurrent infections can worsen asthma symptoms. In this issue, we've got some tips to help you avoid infections and keep your sinuses healthy with a nasal wash. Also, learn about all the great things happening at our very own Kunsberg School.

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Avoid Recurrent Infections That Can Worsen Asthma and COPD Symptoms
Many people with asthma, COPD, or other lung problems, also have recurrent infections, such as sinus infections, ear infections or pneumonia. These infections can make your asthma symptoms worse, especially at night. Learn the signs and symptoms and tips to avoid some of these common recurrent infections.

Nasal-Wash.jpgReduce Sinus Drainage with a Nasal Wash
Watch our step-by-step nasal wash video, which will teach you how to perform a nasal wash. A salt water nasal wash, or nasal irrigation, can help reduce sinus symptoms by:

  • Cleaning mucus from the nose so medication can be more effective
  • Cleansing allergens and irritants from the nose reducing their impact
  • Cleansing bacteria and viruses from the nose decreasing infections
  • Decreasing swelling in the nose and increasing airflow

Boo the Flu
Influenza season typically begins in October and peaks between late December and March. The best way to prevent the spread of the flu is to get the flu vaccine each year. Some of the flu vaccine guidelines have changed this year, including the guideline on whether or not pregnant women should receive the vaccine. Learn more about the flu vaccine and when you should get yours. 

Ask an Expert:

Question: I have severe COPD and I feel good most of the time, but get infections and end up hospitalized. Is it my immune system?

Answer: If you are using a nebulizer, there is an increased risk of lung infections, as it is difficult to completely clean the nebulizer chamber. Taking inhaled medications without a nebulizer is preferred (metered dose or dry powder inhalers). There are some steps to help prevent infections in your lungs if you must use a nebulizer. We tell our patients to rinse the nebulizer cup after each use, shake it out, and then re-attach the cup to the nebulizer. Turn on the compressor and leave it on until the nebulizer is totally dry and free of any droplets of water. Also, disinfect it in a vinegar and water solution regularly.

Submit your own medical question with our Ask an Expert service.

National Jewish Health In The News

EPA Chief Visits Denver School for Asthmatic Kids
Denver Post
Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recently toured Kunsberg School on the National Jewish Health Campus in Denver.

Two Colorado Schools Lauded for Health Programs
Denver Post
Kunsberg School is one of two Colorado schools that recently received a White House reception and a national award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's HealthierUS Schools Challenge program for their efforts to grow healthier kids.

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Health-e-News is published by the Health Initiatives Department at National Jewish Health. This information is provided to you as an educational service. It is not meant to be a substitute for consulting with your own physician.

©Copyright 2011 National Jewish Health

November 2011

‘They cared that I would get better. They fought for me.’
Patricia-Healy.jpgAfter four years of living with shortness of breath and fatigue, Patricia “Pat” Healy, 67, felt like life
was slipping away.
Visits to numerous doctors and five different hospitals could not produce a definitive diagnosis. Finally, a four-day appointment at National Jewish Health provided Pat the answers she had been seeking.

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