Do not ignore that smoker’s cough… It can be something fatal!
If you are a smoker or know someone who smokes then you must know what a smoker’s cough is. Well, we all are quite familiar with the coughing that a smoker experiences post smoking. We do sympathise with the pain one has to undergo while coughing during and after smoking and we all know how much it sucks. But, it is not just a plain cough that can be given a passing thought. It is more than that. Health officials have warned smokers to not to overlook the smoker’s cough even in the most initial stages as it can be a transparent sign of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD, a condition that is incurable.
1 Study reveals that smokers remain unaware of the risks associated with COPD
According to a study conducted by Public Health England (PHE), it has been revealed that more than a million people in the United Kingdom are diagnosed with COPD which is the umbrella term used for severe conditions including emphysema and chronic bronchitis. This can further lead to breathlessness and difficulty in doing daily activities such as walking and climbing the stairs. Consequently, many people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) need extra oxygen. To get this extra oxygen, people who live with COPD frequently use portable oxygen concentrators (POCs) such as the Inogen One G5 to take air from the room, converting it to concentrated oxygen. Due to COPD, the airways are narrowed down and it is quite likely that one experiences these serious lung conditions which can lead to fatal consequences in the long run.
2 What is a smoker’s cough and how is it different from the cold cough?
The infamous smoker’s cough is very much different from the cough one experiences during a bout of chest cold. If you are a smoker then you are likely to cough persistently all throughout the day and it hardly ever goes away. This is not the kind of cough in which a cough syrup or cough suppressing pills can grant you relief. If you are not a chain smoker, then initially you will get dry cough without the production of any goop during coughing. But during the later stages, a chain smoker will get wet coughs along with phlegm each time. The bouts of coughing can worsen sometimes, especially during the morning.
3 What causes a smoker’s cough?
There are tiny hair-like structures present in the lungs called cilia. These cilia protect your lungs by helping to remove harmful toxins. However, smoking paralyzes the cilia making them incapable of their normal functioning. The toxins present in the smoke simply settle into the lungs leading to an inflamed reaction where the body forces itself to get the toxins out from the respiratory system. This is done through coughing.
4 How is a smoker’s cough a green signal to something worse?
Apart from being something uncomfortable to experience and unpleasant to listen, a smoker’s cough is also a very painful experience. Frequent and deep coughing can result in profound chest pain and throat pain. The coughing naturally indicates towards irritated lungs and this puts you at a risk of developing various other infections as virus and bacteria can easily get hold of you if you have unhealthy lungs.
Also, once you get used to frequent coughing you are unable to differentiate when the actual signs of COPD start showing. Once hit by chronic bronchitis, your bronchial tubes get swollen resulting in the production of more mucus that forms a thick lining inside the lungs making it as difficult as ever for air to pass through it. In addition, this mucus lining can be a thriving place for bacteria, thus making a perfect recipe for further infections.
There can come a time, when a smoker coughs out blood leading to wheezing or loss of voice. All this can be a green signal to fatal lung damage.
5 A non-curable issue can be really fatal!
It should be noted that COPD is a condition that is non-curable. If you are a smoker then it’s high time you quit the habit as it is only going to lead you towards devastation and nothing else. By far, the best thing that you can do to reduce your chances of developing COPD is to stop smoking as soon as possible. This is likely to slow down the progression of COPD.
You can join a rehabilitation center and opt for medical assistance and tailored exercise programmes as a positive and active lifestyle along with nutritious diet is the key to slow down or reverse the progression of COPD.