A smoker is prone to many diseases. The smoke literally harms each and every organ of your body. In this article, let’s focus on the smoking and respiratory diseases, in some detail.
Smoking and respiratory diseases go hand in hand. There are plenty of diseases caused by smoking, but the most common diseases are of the respiratory system. The more a smoker smokes, the more he is exposed to these deadly diseases. Smoking harms the respiratory system badly, and can cause many serious complications. Maybe an overview of the deadly respiratory diseases will help the addicts get over this deadly addiction. Let’s have a quick look at some of the commonly asked FAQs, concerning this topic.
What are the Functions of the Respiratory System?
The most important function of the respiratory system is its role in the breathing process. The organs of the respiratory system work collectively to make breathing or respiration a success. Respiration is a combination of the process of inhalation and exhalation, that is taking in and breathing out of air, respectively. The lung is the chief organ that performs the essential function of respiration. The organs that make the respiratory system protect the lungs from the damage from smoke, dust, and other chemicals.
How Does Smoking Harm the Respiratory System?
A smoker takes in the smoke from the cigarette into his body, this is obvious. The smoke then passes through the organs and airways of the lungs, and subsequently reaches the lungs. The smoke consists of chemicals like nicotine and tobacco. These are the two most dangerous ingredients in the smoke that damage the lungs and other organs of the respiratory system. The build up of these diseases is slow and dangerous; and the chemicals in the respiratory tract causes diseases.
Smoking and Respiratory Problems
This was the overview of the respiratory system. Now comes the crux of this article: diseases of the respiratory system caused by smoking. The minor effects of smoking on the respiratory system are throat and bronchial irritation (infection of the airways), that gives the huffiness in the voice. With time, these minor problems transform themselves into problems like bronchitis and pneumonia, asthma, and emphysema. Serious and fatal diseases of the respiratory system are COPD and lung cancer. A brief description of each disease is given below.
Bronchitis: Bronchitis affects the air passages of the lungs. It also affects the nose, sinuses, and eventually the lungs. The common symptoms associated with bronchitis are chest discomfort, fever, and fatigue.
Pneumonia: It is a fact that smokers are at a high risk of pneumonia, and smoking is a high risk factor that causes pneumonia. Chills, fever, shortness of breath, headache, and loss of appetite, are some of the common symptoms of pneumonia.
Tuberculosis: Though the fact has not been established, there is a serious doubt that smoking does contributes to the occurrence of tuberculosis in a person. Serious symptoms associated with tuberculosis are coughing (with blood), fever, and excessive weight loss.
Asthma: As the smoke enters the body, it harms the airway passages, and persistent smoking leads to the swelling and irritation of the airways. This leads to cough and shortness of breath. The chemicals in the smoke more often lead to this blockage of passage, and increase the chance of asthma.
COPD: COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. A person suffering from COPD faces obstruction during the breathing process. There are two main forms of COPD, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In chronic bronchitis, there is persistent cough which is accompanied by mucus, and in emphysema, the lungs are affected and get destroyed over time. Coughing (with mucus), fatigue and respiratory infections, are the common symptoms of COPD and emphysema.
Cancer: Smoking is said to be the single biggest cause of lung cancer. Moreover, it also increases the chance of other cancers like cancer of the mouth, larynx and pharynx. Persistent smokers are at a high risk of respiratory system organ cancers. The smoke contains at least 80 different cancer causing chemicals, that harm the respiratory tract and the lungs. Cancer is an incurable disease, and only quitting smoking can help prevent the occurrence of cancer.
A smoker also runs a high risk of influenza, and persistent smoking can lead to influenza related infections too. You can see that all the above-mentioned diseases are dangerous and can prove fatal. In case of serious complications of these diseases, you need to take serious treatment to cure the symptoms. All these are the long term effects of smoking. Though these diseases do not affect each and every smoker, there is no valid point in risking. Smoking is a dangerous habit that can cause much more harm than these listed diseases. So quit smoking and secure a happy and trouble-free future for yourself and your family.