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Understanding Smokers Cough

About

A cough that is wet and accompanies phlegm in smokers.

Over 40% of smokers experience smoker’s cough according to a study by NCBI.

- May lead to medical complications like bronchitis or lung cancer
- Does not occur in all smokers
- Requires imaging and lab tests
- Treatment mostly involves quitting smoking and making lifestyle changes

Coughing is your body’s way of expelling harmful chemicals ingested via smoking. Smoker’s cough is often a wet cough accompanied by phlegm and sounds different from your regular coughing. It is noted by wheezing, crackling noises, and may sometimes cause chest pain too.

Symptoms

Common symptoms include wheezing and crackling noises with phlegm production in the throat.

People also experience
Chest pain - Congestion in the lungs
Hoarseness in voice
Coughing up blood
Abnormal weight loss
Passing out while coughing
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

Treatment

Self-care: The easiest way to get relief is to quit smoking permanently. Avoid consuming coffee and alcohol and elevate your head while sleeping to prevent the mucus from accumulating in your throat. Home remedies include salt water gargling and drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water everyday.

Medications: Bronchodilators and corticosteroids may be given to patients by a doctor to relieve the inflammation and relax the muscles around the airways.

Specialists: Getting screened for bronchitis or lung cancer as early as possible is key to effective prevention and treatment. At mfine, you can consult our medical professionals for a diagnosis and get a customized treatment plan for a quick recovery.

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