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Smoking and Asthma – a Deadly combination

Rohan enjoys singing and playing the guitar. He loves people and has an outgoing nature. In his mid-thirties, Rohan was diagnosed with asthma disease. He never smoked but worked as a bartender that allowed smoking. The doctor said his asthma attack symptoms were triggered by second-hand smoke i.e. breathing other people's cigarette smoke. After several hospital visits and on the advice of his doctor, he felt he had no choice but to quit his job and find a job where he wouldn't be exposed to second-hand smoke. Even though he feels better now, Rohan was sad to leave a job he loved.

Many of you might wonder - Does it really harm people around whom you smoke? Yes, it does. Second-hand smoke is the combination of smoke from a burning cigarette and smoke exhaled by a smoker. Hence, anyone who comes in the surrounding of a smoker has increased chances of developing respiratory illnesses.

If a person is already suffering from asthma disease, smoking can lead to aggravated asthma symptoms and severe asthma attacks. It can also restrict your level of activity and reduce your quality of life.

Smoking also damages your airways, leading to inflammation and faster loss of lung function. Lung function is a measure of the amount of air that you can breathe in and out of your lungs, and how hard and fast you can breathe out.

Read more: Asthma and Emotions: How are they connected?

Now, let us understand ‘how smoking causes damage to our airways?’ Our lungs are lined with tiny hairs called cilia. These move in a wave-like motion to sweep dust, pollens and other irritants out of our lungs. Cigarette smoke damages these tiny hairs. This means your lungs will be less able to clean themselves, which can lead to mucus and toxic substances collecting in the lungs, increasing the risk of lung function. As lung disease slowly worsens over time, it can limit airflow causing shortness of breath and hence asthma.

According to a recent study result, about 20-35 percent of adults worldwide with asthma disease are cigarette smokers, rates which are surprisingly similar to the general population.

Even though you are a non-smoker, second-hand smoke can hit you badly. Especially, if you live in enclosed spaces such as bars, bedrooms, living rooms, and cars. This is because if people are smoking in a small place there'll be a very high concentration of toxic pollutants. Even opening a window won't make a significant difference. Tobacco smoke hangs around in the environment and can stay in the room for several hours. If you smoke another cigarette in the room it tops up the pollutants already there. Smoke can stick to clothes and soft furnishings.

Children with asthma are especially sensitive to second-hand smoke. They are more likely to develop asthma symptoms when exposed to second-hand smoke. They are also more likely to develop lung and sinus infections. These infections can make asthma symptoms worse and more difficult to control.

Read more: Treat Asthma In Children Without Worrying About The Side-Effects

Children of mothers who smoked during pregnancy are more likely to have respiratory problems and are ten times more likely to develop asthma. Smoking during pregnancy has also been linked with low-weight newborns, premature births, and sudden infant death syndrome.

While you think smoking gives you pleasure, you should find an escape route to quit the habit otherwise you can’t get a cure for asthma. It is good neither for your health nor for your well-wishers around you. Smoke acts as an irritant and also decreases the efficacy of the medication you take. It may also put you at risk of COPD and other bronchial diseases. For non-smokers, it is necessary to ensure that smokers in your friend and family circles do not light up in your presence.

Besides taking asthma treatment in homeopathy, encourage yourself to have a proper nutritious diet which is very important for a strong immune system. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is good for asthma disease. Fruits and vegetables contain anti-oxidants which boost up the immune system. Load up on the Vitamins to boost your immune system and omega-3 fatty acids to keep symptoms of asthma at bay.

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