24.07.2021 – 07:40
Smoker’s cough is a persistent cough that results from airway damage caused by toxins in cigarette smoke. Over time, a smoker’s cough can lead to hoarseness and chest pain. It can also be one of the signs and symptoms of lung cancer.
Symptoms of smoker’s cough
As with any type of cough, a smoker’s cough is essentially a powerful air stimulus to clear an irritant from the airways (bronchi and bronchioles).
However, there are some features that can make a smoker’s cough unique. A smoker’s cough can:
Be strong and annoying, lasting more than two or three weeks
Causes a whistling or crackling sound
Have secretions, phlegm or saliva (a mucous substance) is present. The cough may be dry in the early stages of the smoker’s cough or in people who have not smoked for a long time.
It gets worse when you wake up, with a tendency to diminish during the day
There are few complications associated with the smoker’s own cough. That said, recurrent strong coughing can strain chest muscles and even lead to broken ribs.
Women with a persistent smoker’s cough may leak urine because of the pressure exerted on the bladder by coughing.
The cilia are small ciliate-like cells, located in the airways. They catch toxins inhaled into the air and move them towards the mouth to prevent them from reaching the lungs.
Some chemicals in tobacco smoke, such as formaldehyde, paralyze these delicate structures and make them incapable of trapping toxins. As a result, toxins are able to enter the lungs, where they settle and promote inflammation.
Because they are not exposed to smoke while you sleep, eyelashes can begin to adjust on their own (albeit briefly and to a limited extent). The work they do to catch and remove toxins accumulated at night means increased coughing to clear them all as soon as you wake up.
The best treatment for a smoker’s cough is to quit smoking. As you work toward this goal, you can use lifestyle strategies and, if necessary, medications to help improve your cough.
Some who do this are alarmed that the smoker’s cough increases immediately after quitting. Known as the cessation of smoking cessation, this is actually normal.
After quitting smoking, eyelashes are given more options than they ever had while you were smoking to repair yourself. Their increased ability to remove foreign material from the throat, trachea and airways means more coughing to remove it.
This worsening of the smoker’s cough after quitting smoking is temporary. Most can expect it to start shrinking within three months of giving up the habit.
If you are a smoker and have a persistent cough – even if you believe it is just an annoying smoking cough – talk to your doctor. A persistent cough is one of the most common symptoms of lung cancer.
That said, certain smokers are advised to have an annual low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan of the lungs regardless of whether or not they have a chronic cough. This is the best way to detect lung cancer at the earliest possible stage, when it is most curable.