Air: Are You Breathing Yourself Sick?

From pollen and pollution to asthma and allergies, The Doctors gives you the tools to breathe easy – and healthy – today.


Eight-year-old Jeffrey suffered from severe breathing and sleeping disruption as a result of his enlarged adenoids, an area of extra tissue in the back of the nose. The enlarged tissue physically blocks the nasal air passages, so when a child inhales, the air hits the adenoids instead of the air passage to the throat and lungs.

After several unsuccessful medical treatments, Jeffrey went under the knife to have his adenoids removed.

Pediatric otolaryngologist and author of Take a Deep Breath, Dr. Nina Shapiro, performs the adenoidectomy.

An adenoidectomy is a common procedure, with about 500,000 performed annually in the United States. The adenoids are removed or shaved down to make more room for the patient to breathe. The procedure takes approximately 15 minutes and leaves no visible scars. Patients are generally able to resume normal activity within two days.

• Buy a copy of Dr. Shapiro's Take a Deep Breath.

While you cannot see your child’s adenoids, you can watch for symptoms:
• Chronic stuffy nose
• Snoring
Sleep apnea

Since appearing on The Doctors, Jeffrey and his family received the unfortunate news that Jeffrey has cancerous Desmoplastic small round cell tumors (DSRCTs), unrelated to the adenoid procedure. For an update on Jeffrey's treatment, or to donate for his care, please visit

Sleep Suffocation?
Marie says she’s been battling a cold, which has left her severely congested. During sleep, she says it feels like the mucus build up is blocks her airway, which wakes her up in a panic. “How do I know I won’t suffocate in my sleep?” she asks.

Clinical Trials

Have your or a loved one been diagnosed with a disease? Learn why you may want to consider a clinical trial.

• Learn more about participating in clinical trials at

“The number one thing to remember is: You’re not going to suffocate,” plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. “Your body will keep you breathing.”

Dr. Ordon explains that congestion occurs when extra mucous drips down to the throat from the sinuses, known as post-nasal drip, which can reduce the amount of air coming into your lungs. When you fall into a deep sleep, your breathing naturally slows and your oxygen levels are significantly decreased. However, if your oxygen intake dips too low, your brain will rouse you to inhale needed air into your lungs. The panic of this arousal may cause throat muscles to contract, creating a choking sensation.

“It’s natural to feel a little bit of a panicky feeling,” Dr. Ordon adds. “But trust me, you have centers in your brain that keep you breathing. You’re not going to stop breathing.”

Tips to Relieving Congestion
• Run a humidifier while you sleep.
• Take a nighttime decongestant.
• Take an over-the-counter expectorant.

Viral, Bacterial or Fungal?
E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork explains the differences between viral, bacterial and fungal lung infections, and why knowing this information can save your life.

Managing Asthma
Tracy says her 12-year-old daughter, Millie, takes a tremendous amount of daily medications for her asthma, and asks if there’s a way for Millie to cut back. 

Keep Food Fresh!

The Doctors experiment with different storage methods to see which keeps food fresher longer.

• Enter for a chance to win your very own Food Saver!

Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears teaches Tracy and Millie about a new tool doctors are using to diagnose and monitor asthma – Niox Mino.

Niox Mino is a new instrument that allows doctors to read nitric oxide levels in the lungs. When the lungs are inflamed, they create elevated nitric oxide levels, which signals asthma.

While asthma symptoms are similar to allergies or a cold, this new tool makes the diagnosis clearer so doctors can prescribe the proper treatment.

Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
One in five people in the United States have allergy or asthma symptoms, and your home could be making it worse.

Brandy and her daughter, Kylie, suffer from severe allergies. While they’ve ruled out food allergies, they live in a very old house and own a dog, and ask whether those two factors are the cause of their chronic sneezing and sniffling.

HGTV and AOL Home Improvement expert Eric Stromer visits Brandy’s house to check its air quality. See the results!

• Breathe easier in your home. Enter to win great health giveaways!

Dental Air Abrasion
Cavity fill without a drill? Cosmetic dentist Dr. Bill Dorfman shares the latest and painless solution for treating cavities … with air!

Hot Headlines
Air in the news – learn the hottest topics in respiration today.

Is automobile pollution causing premature births?

Technology is reducing air-borne infection in hospitals.

COPD is on the rise. Are you at risk? Take the five-question screener.

• To learn more about COPD please visit

For more information about the products mentioned on this show, please go to
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OAD 11/23/11