What is Smoker’s Cough? Its Symptoms, Consequences, and Ways to Clean Lungs.

A persistent cough (present for more than three weeks) which sounds different from normal cough, occurring due to cigars, cigarettes or vaporizer is termed as smoker’s cough. All these things have chemical ingredients in them which stuck in the throat or the lungs. And coughing is one and the only natural way to clear these airways. Smoker’s cough is normally wet (carries a lot of mucus and phlegm) and produces crackling sounds. It is worse during the morning time, but the situation improves a little over the remaining day.

Man with smoker Cough

Symptoms

There are many symptoms which reveal that a person is suffering from smoker’s cough. Some of them are as follows:

Symptoms of smoker cough

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Dry cough during the initial period
  • Coloured phlegm in later stages
  • Sore throat
  • Crackling sound when breathing

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Negative Consequences of Smoker’s Cough

Persistent coughing is not only very painful, but it can also cause chest pain. Frequent coughing disturbs everyone around you which puts the negative impact on your social life and also affects the perception of your colleagues. Smoker’s cough includes the following ailments.

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic Bronchitis

It is the first stage in the smoker’s cough. It lasts for three months in a year for a minimum of two consecutive years. It is most prevalent during the mornings due to the accumulation of mucus while sleeping time. It can cause irreversible loss of lung function.

Emphysema

Due to an increase in the production of mucus, the lining of bronchioles thickens, making it difficult to breathe. As a consequence, bronchioles become less elastic and lose their ability to absorb the pressure within alveoli. Hence, delicate alveoli walls rupture worsening the cough and ability to breathe. All of this happens due to excessive smoking.

COPD

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a combination of Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. It fastens the division of cells in the outer border of the bronchial lining which displace ciliated cells. The nuclei become oversized and look like cancerous cells. The situation can still be handled if the person quits smoking at this moment. However, if smoking continues, these abnormal cells may burst and divide inside the tissue of the lungs, causing the formation of a tumour.

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How to Clean Lungs After Smoking?

There are numerous methods to clean the lungs. Breathing in air polluted by smoke emitted from the cigarette can easily damage your lungs. The proper functioning of the lungs is very crucial for the overall health of a person. Here are some methods which can reduce the effects of pollution and smoke on the lungs:

Steam Therapy

Steam for smoker's cough

Steam therapy involves inhaling water vapour which helps in cleaning the lungs. It can provide immediate relief and helps in breathing easily.

Exercise

Exercise can also improve our physical as well as mental health. With exercise, the breathing rate of the body increases which results in the supply of more oxygen to muscles leading to better circulation. So if you exercise daily then it becomes easy for you to clean your lungs by inhaling more oxygen and exhaling more carbon dioxide.

Keep your home clean

It is very necessary to keep our surroundings clean if we want to clean our lungs. If you have carpets in your home then you must keep them clean all the time. If there is any fireplace in the home then you should stop using it because the toxins in the smoke are harmful to the lungs. So always keep the house clean if you want clean lungs.

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What Happens When a Smoker Stops Smoking?

As soon as you quit smoking, your lungs start healing. With time, lung functions improve and the risk of lung cancer will drop. Quitting also helps in the reduction of irritation and inflammation, and regrowth of cilia. Smoking releases various chemicals in the body which not only affect the lungs but also the heart. Even if the person is smoking for the last many years, he can still reverse the side effects by quitting it.

After Quiting smoking effects

 

After 20 Minutes

One can see the positive effects after the 20 minutes of the last cigarette. The blood pressure and pulse return to normal.

8 Hours after the Last Cigarette

There is a chemical named carbon monoxide which is present in cigarettes which reduces the level of oxygen in the body. When you stop smoking then after 8 hours this chemical returns to a normal level and because of it, the oxygen level starts increasing which helps in normal breathing.

72 Hours after Smoking

After three days one can breathe more easily. The tubes which are present inside the lungs open which help in the exchange of carbon dioxide and oxygen. Moreover the capacity of lungs to fill it with air increases after three days of quitting.

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Some Ways to Ease Smoker’s Cough

  • Drink at least eight glasses of water every day
  • Exercise daily
  • Gargle with saltwater
  • Inhale vapours of mint and eucalyptus leaves boiled together
  • While sleeping, elevate your head to prevent mucus pooling down into your throat
  • Consume one teaspoon of honey every day
  • Eat a diet high in fresh fruits and cruciferous (leafy) vegetables
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Allergy-proof your living area to decrease irritants
  • Use a humidifier to moisten the air
  • Suck lozenges
  • Do deep breathing exercises daily
  • Quit smoking 

Overall,  Smoker’s cough is one of the biggest and prime problems from which a lot of people are suffering. This problem can further lead to various severe diseases if not diagnosed and treated on time. One can recover from this problem by taking medications or simply by following the above-mentioned precautions. There are various home remedies that we have discussed earlier. Smokers must try these remedies because these are natural and there is no side effect of these remedies.

Dr Deepak Kansal is a dentist, who is currently working in Sri Ganganagar. He did his Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Rajasthan University of Health Science.

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