Everyone knows smoking is bad for you. Not only does it cause various kinds of cancers, impact your immune system and increase your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, but it’s also harmful to your sinuses and your throat.
How Smoking Harms Sinuses
Your nose and sinuses help keep you healthy by producing mucus that protects the respiratory system. Typically, mucus will travel to the back of the throat and the cilia will help you swallow and break down the mucus. However, smoking causes the cilia to stop working, leading to a back up of mucus in the sinuses.
What ENT Issues Can Smoking Cause?
Inhaling cigarette smoke, ammonia and formaldehyde irritates your upper airway immediately. Because of the impact the harmful gases have on your airway, it can cause a range of ENT hazards, including:
1. Chronic Sinusitis – Smoking causes a backup of mucus in your sinuses, which can lead to
chronic sinusitis. The chance of chronic sinusitis also increases if you continue to smoke when you have a sinus infection.
2. Increase in colds and allergies – Producing more mucus also makes you more susceptible to colds and allergies.
3. Decrease in sensitivity of senses – Regular smoking often leads to a decrease in the sense of taste and smell.
4. Cancer – Repeated exposure to cigarette smoke can not only lead to lunch cancer, but it can also cause nose and sinus cancers
5. Sleep disorders – Smoking leads to snoring and respiratory problems, which impact sleeping.
Consult your ENT physician for more information on how smoking affects sinuses.