Can you smoke when you have a sore throat?
Sore throat is one of the main manifestations of the inflammatory process in the upper respiratory tract. Patients with sore throat, tonsillitis, pharyngitis and a number of other diseases of the ENT organs experience discomfort in the throat. Can you smoke when you have a sore throat? From the article you will find out the answer to this question.
The effect of tobacco smoke on the mucous membrane of the throat
With hypothermia, reduced immunity, during periods of seasonal outbreaks of acute respiratory viral infections, when pathogenic viruses and bacteria easily penetrate the human body, the nasopharynx and tonsils are the first to take the blow. Inflammation of the nasopharynx is evidenced by symptoms such as dry mucous membranes, perspiration, a feeling of nasal congestion. Signs of damage to the pharyngeal and palatine tonsils are white purulent plaque and sore throat, which increases when swallowing.
The immune system immediately enters the fight against the disease. However, if you smoke cigarette after cigarette, then there is no need to talk about a speedy recovery. Under the influence of nicotine and other carcinogens that enter the blood with tobacco smoke, the body’s defenses are weakened so much that even the latest drugs do not bring relief for a long time.
We add that smoking at the same time as taking medications creates an additional burden on the liver and kidneys, which are forced to work in emergency mode.
But this is not enough. When you inhale tobacco smoke, most of the carcinogenic compounds contained in it settle on the affected mucous membrane of the respiratory tract. As a result, the tonsils become more inflamed, their surface rapidly loosens, which further favors the development of pathogenic microflora.
Smoking reduces life expectancy by an average of 10-15 years.
Toxins, which are formed during the life and death of pathogens , lead to mucosal edema, redness, local fever and general fever. The pain when swallowing becomes even more acute, it is difficult for a person to eat and speak.
The same toxins sharply worsen the general condition of the patient, lead to intoxication, weakness, muscle and headache. The disease is progressing.
If at this stage, at least temporarily, you do not give up cigarettes, you risk provoking the development of complications. These include laryngitis, acute otitis media, pharyngeal abscesses, rheumatic lesions, acute inflammatory diseases of the kidneys – pyelonephritis and glomerulonephritis .
smoking and tonsillitis
Smokers are more susceptible than non-smokers to upper respiratory tract infections. Among other respiratory diseases, tonsillitis, an acute or chronic inflammation of the tonsils, is the most common.
The reasons for the frequent occurrence of tonsillitis are described above. At the same time, along with a violation of the barrier function of the lymphoid tissue of the tonsils under the influence of nicotine, regular hypothermia of the body against the background of weakened immunity leads to the development of the disease.
Smokers go out for smoke breaks even in cold weather, often not bothering to fasten their outer clothing, which is purely symbolically thrown over their shoulders. But it’s enough to smoke several times on the balcony in slippers on your bare feet or stand with a cigarette near the half-open window, from where cold air rushes into the room, in order to wake up the next morning with a sharp sore throat.
The development of acute tonsillitis in most cases is caused by streptococci and staphylococci, less often by viruses, very rarely by chlamydia and mycoplasmas. Along with a sore throat, including from electronic cigarettes, and painful sensations when swallowing, patients complain of a sharp increase in temperature, severe general weakness, headaches, soreness, and enlargement of the cervical lymph nodes.
In smokers, acute tonsillitis often flows into a chronic form. This form is characterized by numerous local symptoms: constant dryness and sore throat, cough, discomfort when swallowing. The patient quickly gets tired, his sleep worsens, his breath becomes stale. With the toxic-allergic form of chronic tonsillitis, persistent pain in the cervical lymph nodes, a slight increase in body temperature, changes in the heart and kidneys are added to these signs.
Why do patients with tonsillitis smoke?
Acute tonsillitis finally disappears no earlier than 7-10 days. Naturally, for heavy smokers, such a period seems like an eternity. Therefore, even knowing the negative effect that nicotine has on inflamed tonsils, many smokers, even with severe sore throats, do not part with a bad habit.
The exception is when the smoker has such a tickle in the throat that each puff causes a choking attack of coughing and the person willy-nilly has to give up cigarettes. However, this situation is rare.
Much more often, instead of hiding cigarettes, people start smoking even more often than before. True, they often change their usual brands for menthol cigarettes. This strange behavior is explained by the fact that menthol allegedly helps to cope with the disease. But this popular interpretation is just a myth.
So-called “light” cigarettes are not at all as safe as advertised. Their smoke contains more carbon monoxide, the main cause of cardiovascular disease.
When smoking, menthol is absorbed into the mucous membranes of the larynx and reduces pain, masking the manifestations of the disease. Nicotine itself acts as an analgesic. Under its influence, the cells of the upper layer of the mucosa die and, dying, do not allow pain to be felt. But even with the almost complete disappearance of the pain syndrome, the disease itself does not disappear. Moreover, it is developing even more rapidly.
In addition, soon after temporary relief, the pain syndrome returns with a vengeance. The layer of cells killed by nicotine peels off, revealing the next cell structure. Thus, already unprotected cells fall under the next blow of bacteria and carcinogens, and the infectious process spreads faster.
Should you smoke if you have a sore throat?
Many smokers ask if they can smoke when they have a sore throat. The answer is unequivocal – no way. Try to give up cigarettes at least until recovery. To reduce nicotine cravings, use nicotine patches or smoker sprays. These funds exclude the entry of carcinogens through the respiratory tract and increase the effectiveness of treatment.
Drink as much liquid as possible. Drinking plenty of water reduces the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and helps to remove toxins from the body. Ideal drinks for the period of illness are non-carbonated mineral water, juices and fruit drinks at room temperature. Do not forget about gargling with chamomile decoction or iodine-salt solution.
Morally prepare for the fact that even a temporary cessation of smoking will be a difficult test for the nervous system. You will reduce anxiety and irritability if you inhale lavender essential oil regularly.
Sore throat after quitting smoking
Sometimes people who smoked for a long time, but found the strength to put an end to this harmful addiction, suddenly encounter painful sensations in the throat. If this symptom appears, consult a doctor immediately to exclude the possibility of developing an oncological process.
Smoking is an important risk factor for the occurrence of malignant tumors of the larynx. Pathological changes in the mucous membrane of the throat at first do not make themselves known, so the former smoker notices the first obvious signs of trouble after giving up cigarettes.
Another possible cause of pain is chronic smoker’s bronchitis, which is often seen in people with tobacco dependence. By quitting smoking, you will gradually get rid of the signs of this disease. But still, go to the doctor – the medicinal support selected by the specialist will speed up recovery.