What is Smoker’s Cough?
As the name suggests, it is the cough that a smoker experiences after prolonged smoking. A smoker’s cough can cause a variety of unhealthy conditions, such as bronchitis.
What Causes Smokers to Cough?
Our respiratory passages are lined with tiny hair-like cells called cilia. These cilia trap the particles of dust, bacteria, viruses, and smoke that enter the body through the nose and prevent them from entering the lungs. These particles are then brought up to the throat by the rhythmic movement of the cilia and expelled out of the body by the cough reflex.
When a person smokes, the chemicals present in the smoke affect the movement of these cilia, slowing down their function or even damaging the cilia. Therefore, the smoke particles that the person inhales directly go into the lungs and settle there. The body tries to expel these particles by secreting mucus and through the cough reflex.
Thus, the cough from a smoker is more from the lungs than the throat. It is a deep-sounding cough, which is dry initially and, later on, becomes wet. The person can also have a post-nasal drip where the mucus from the back of the nose drops into the throat through the roof of the mouth. This may cause throat irritation and a need to clear his throat constantly. In the later stages, the person may suffer from wheezing and breathlessness also, as the tiny air sacs in the lungs are affected.
In a smoker, a persistent cough that is getting worse day by day is a serious sign of underlying lung pathology and an indication that it’s time to quit smoking and visit the doctor.
Sometimes, the person may continue to get the cough even after he has quit smoking. This may happen for months together after quitting smoking. This is because once the person has stopped smoking, the cilia start to recover from the damage and regain their function. This could be considered a good sign of recovery in smokers.
Does Smoker’s Cough Have Any Complications?
The complications of the smoker’s cough will depend on the duration of smoking and the duration of the cough and its severity. Recent cases of cough may cause throat irritation and hoarseness of the voice. A person can recover completely if he quits smoking at this stage.
People with chronic cough who continue smoking may experience symptoms of Pneumonia, COPD, and lung cancer.
How Does the Doctor Diagnose the Smoker’s Cough?
The doctor can easily diagnose the smoker’s cough through the history you provide him as well as the sound of your cough.
To see if there is damage to the lungs, he may order tests, such as a chest X-ray and spirometry.
How Can One Prevent the Smoker’s Cough?
The best thing to prevent a smoker’s cough is to avoid smoking. If already you are smoking, the next best thing is to quit it.
Being close to a smoker may cause you to inhale smoke and become a passive smoker. Thus, you may experience this cough too. So, avoid being near a smoker. If the smoker is your colleague or a loved one, explain to them the inconvenience the smoking is causing you.
How Do You Manage Smoker’s Cough?
You may follow some effective home remedies to manage your cough and obtain relief.
- Drink warm water. It will help soothe your throat.
- Keep yourself hydrated adequately.
- Have a tablespoonful of honey and swallow it slowly. Honey will coat your throat and soothe it too, thereby relieving the irritation.
- Have green tea.
- While sleeping, keep your head raised with pillows so that the mucus does not accumulate in the throat.
- Exercise for about 30 minutes every day. You may simply walk around if the cough is severe. If the cough is mild, you can do a brisk walk, and if there is no breathlessness, you can even play your favorite sport. Exercise helps to improve the lungs’ capacity.
Homeopathic Treatment for Smoker’s Cough
Homeopathy has effective medicines to provide you relief from the smoker’s cough. These medicines are selected based on the presenting symptoms as well as factors modifying the present symptoms. Along with that, a homeopath also takes into account the physical symptoms and mental and emotional features of the patient to prescribe the medicine. These medicines not just help the patient get relief from the cough but also help to reduce the craving for smoking and the withdrawal effects if the patient experiences any. Here are some effective homeopathic remedies for smokers’ cough.
- Caladium: It is indicated for treating patients with cough with asthma where the mucus is difficult to get expelled. Craving for tobacco and constricted larynx indicate this medicine. When the patient experiences sudden involuntary bouts of cough triggered by tickling in the larynx and the dryness and burning in the throat with aversion to cold water, this remedy is recommended.
- Spongia: This homeopathic medicine is effective in treating the cases where the cough is dry and sounds like barking or a saw driven through a pine board. Dryness of respiratory passages, a cough coming from a deep spot in the chest, as if dry and sore, bronchitis with wheezing which is aggravated by the cold, and the feeling of suffocation, indicate this remedy. The patient’s relief in cough gets better after eating and drinking.
- Nux vomica: It is indicated after the abuse of stimulants, such as smoking, alcohol, coffee, etc. When the patient suffers from a rough, scraped feeling in the throat, tingling in the throat after waking up in the morning, sensation as if something is loose in the chest and is being torn off with the cough, and bursting headache with the cough, Nux vomica is recommended for relief. It helps alleviate the severe cough that causes pain in the pit of the stomach, oppressed feeling in the chest because of the gas in the stomach, and a dry hacking cough.
- Coccus cacti: It is quite effective in treating cough that gets aggravated in the morning and spasmodic and suffocative cough. When the patient expectorates tough white mucus and experiences the sensation of tickling in the larynx or crumb in the larynx, this remedy is recommended. The patient has to swallow constantly. This medicine helps treat cases of bronchitis complicated with kidney issues.
- Kali carb: Dry hard cough aggravated at 3 am., stitching pain in the chest, difficult expectoration that increase in the morning and after eating, and sensitiveness of the chest indicate this medicine. It helps treat the patient who experiences coldness in the chest with asthma, expectoration that tastes cheesy, and sensitivity to the cold.
Now that you know how effective homeopathy is in treating Smoker’s cough, count on it without a second thought to obtain relief. Also, quit smoking and avoid being a passive smoker to keep the hazards of a smoker’s cough at bay.