Millions of people throughout the world smoke cigarettes on a daily basis, but just how harmful is smoking to the respiratory system? Every cigarette smoked introduces foreign chemicals into the lungs and throat which can cause damage to the respiratory system. Smoking can lead to some of the following ailments:
Pneumonia is a respiratory infection in the lungs that can cause severe coughing, high fever, and difficulty breathing. This condition can often be treated with antibiotics at home, but in extreme cases will lead to hospitalization.
Asthma is a respiratory ailment that involves inflammation and spasms in the bronchial tubes which blocks the airflow causing shortness of breath. An asthma attack is usually caused by an allergic reaction or sensitivity to a foreign substance which triggers the inflammation. Cigar and cigarette smoke are known to be a trigger for asthmatic attacks.
Emphysema is a chronic, irreversible disease of the lungs characterized by the abnormal enlargement of air spaces in the lungs. This is accompanied by the destruction of the alveoli (air sacs) in the lungs which gradually causes a compounding shortness of breath. Smoking is known to be one of the leading causes of Emphysema.
Chronic Bronchitis is a respiratory ailment defined by the inflammation of the bronchial tubes that causes the excessive buildup of mucus in the tubes blocking the tubes and causing wheezing or shortness of breath. This ailment can cause coughing that persists for months and can reoccur several times per year. One of the major causes of chronic bronchitis is smoking.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a group of lung diseases that block airflow making it very hard to breathe. This group of diseases includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis and the symptoms gets worse with time, and unfortunately COPD can’t be cured. It is currently the third leading cause of death in the US.
Throat Cancer refers to cancer of the voice box, the vocal cords, and other parts of the throat, such as the tonsils and the pharynx. Compared to other cancers, throat cancers are fairly uncommon occurring in only about 2% of the population. There is a direct correlation between smoking or chewing tobacco and throat cancer. In fact, according to the CDC, within 5 years of quitting, the chance of getting cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus is cut in half.
Quitting a habit is always difficult and quitting smoking is no exception. There are many new therapies available to help smokers quit. Call us to learn more about the best way for you to improve your respiratory health and quit smoking as soon as possible.
To find out more and how we can help call Odalys Alfonso at (954) 389-1414 or fill the short form below.