Cough – it is the respiratory system’s natural reaction when its air passageways come into contact with any substance that it perceives to be ‘harmful’. And yes, your respiratory system considers cigarette smoke as ‘dangerous’. This is why most non-smokers react with bouts of coughs upon contact with secondhand smoke.
You can also say that it is pretty normal for smoker to show symptoms of ‘cough’ once in a while. But because smokers are at a greater risk of respiratory ailments than nonsmokers, they always need to keep watch of their health. One way is to determine the severity of their cough.
So when is ‘cough’ not just a ‘cough’? Here are some symptoms that might indicate a more serious respiratory condition:
A cough that is persistent for a few weeks to a few months is definitely a sign telling you that something is wrong with your body. Cough that also occurs repeatedly throughout the day is seriously alarming. When this happens, it is advisable that you see a doctor right away.
Cough could also be due to other ailments. For instance, your body may show symptoms of cough as a result of cold and other respiratory infections. But in these cases, cough usually comes with phlegm. In the instance of a dry cough, especially if it is persistent, it could be an indication of a worsening health condition due to smoking.
Cough should not be accompanied by pain. It is a natural bodily process that is meant to get rid of foreign substances/objects (polluted air, throat blockage, etc.). Mostly, healthy cough should feel relieving. But when cough is accompanied by pain, it is an indication that something is wrong. It could be chest pain, throat pain, and/or back pain.
If you are a smoker and you are experiencing difficulty in breathing, whether it is accompanied by cough or not, it is a strong indication that your smoking habits are already causing serious damage to your respiratory system. Difficulty in breathing could be a sign of smoking-related health conditions such as tuberculosis, asthma, chronic bronchitis, and such.
This is another sign of serious respiratory damage. When inhaling and exhaling, a person with a damaged lung resulting from cigarette smoking may produce a distinguishable wheezing sound. In its early stages, the wheezing sound may only be audible to the infected person himself. Later on, it may become distinguishable to nearby people as well. This is a serious symptom that should never be ignored.
Normal cough should not sound displeasing or too loud. But when cough begins to sound unusual, it is an indication that something went wrong. Crackly cough is one example. If it also feels like something is grinding in your throat while coughing and it is producing an unpleasant sound, you should quickly see a doctor.
This is the most alarming of all the symptoms mentioned in this article. If you cough out blood, it is a sure indication that something is very wrong. Actually, it is hard to imagine how anyone can get to this point without getting alarmed by other symptoms that should have been observable much earlier.