Worse smoking cough in the morning

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Smokers suffer from a nasty cough, especially in the morning

Smokers often suffer from a nasty morning cough accompanied by more or less dark sputum. Even if the smoker's cough is usually perceived as very unpleasant, it is a sign that the body is carrying away pollutants. There is no remedy for the annoying cough. However, experts agree: when smoking cough occurs, it is high time to quit smoking.

The smoker's cough is worst in the morning Smokers know it only too well: In the morning after getting up, the lungs “burns” and the unpleasant cough sets in - often with expectoration. As the day goes on, the symptoms usually decrease, but a lighter smoker's cough usually accompanies those affected throughout the day. If there is then a cold, from which smokers recover significantly more difficult, the bronchi are even more in a permanent state of emergency. "Anyone who smokes switches off the garbage disposal in their bronchial tubes," reports Michael Barczok, board member of the Federal Association of Pneumologists, to the news agency "dpa". The cilia in the bronchial tubes "remove all dirt upwards like a conveyor belt", but they freeze in the smoke and can no longer fulfill their task. The “dirt” stays where it doesn't belong - the system comes to a standstill.

"Under the electron microscope, functional cilia look like a grain field in the wind," Petra Bubel, head of the German professional association of ear, nose and throat doctors in Saxony-Anhalt, told the news agency. "As protection against intruders, the bronchi produce mucus, and it is transported upwards by the hairs, where it mixes with saliva and is swallowed unnoticed. "However, this mechanism is deactivated for an average of seven to eight hours per cigarette." At night, the garbage disposal starts up again, "explains Barczok. As a result, the morning smoker's cough occurs, through which the pollutants are removed. Ideally, the cilia will recover, but this will be prevented by the next cigarette.

Stopping smoking is the only effective remedy for smoker's cough When smokers quit smoking, the cilia can regenerate, Tobias Raupach, spokesman for the tobacco prevention working group of the German Society for Pneumology and Respiratory Medicine, told the news agency. "This is why many people have to cough a little more after they have quit smoking." Nonetheless, smoking damages the bronchi sustainably and irreversibly. "If you cough more often or if there is occasional wheezing when breathing, or if you have difficulty breathing even with light physical exertion, you should go to the pulmonologist," advises Bubel. There could also be a worse condition behind the symptoms, such as chronic obstructive bronchitis (COPD), which affects about half of all smokers over time, according to Barczok. In women the disease occurs after 20, in men after 30 "packet years" - years in which one box was smoked per day.

Since COPD is not curable and often results in a lung transplant or the death of the patient, smokers should try to quit smoking at the first sign. "Chronically obstructive means that the airways are not only narrowed briefly, but in such a way that they can no longer widen completely," reports Raupach. Those affected therefore suffered from shortness of breath.

The experts agree: The only "remedy" against smoking cough and secondary diseases is to stop smoking early. So expectorants would only make things worse. "They only thin the mucus, and that makes it more difficult for the cilia," says Barczok. Exercise also doesn't help against the symptoms of smoking. However, physical activity strengthens the general constitution of the body.

Naturopathy for smoker's cough If COPD has already developed, there are various therapeutic methods that can only alleviate the symptoms. Naturopathic treatments are usually only effective in the early stages of the disease. Then various homeopathic remedies can be used to relieve the urge to cough and reduce the risk of lung tissue damage. Active ingredients such as Acidum formicicum, Acidum hydrocyanicum, Ammi visnaga, Antimonium arsenicosum, Antimonium sulfuratum aurantiacum, Coccus cacti, Hamamelis virginica and sodium sulfuricum can be used to treat COPD. In addition, it makes sense to carry out a physiotherapeutic treatment in parallel with so-called oscillating PEP systems. The breathing resistance is increased and a positive exhalation pressure is generated. Exhaling into special equipment causes vibrations and pressure fluctuations, which expand the bronchi, loosen and liquefy the mucus, strengthen the respiratory muscles and make it easier to cough up.

Despite these measures, the patient's health may deteriorate. The course of the disease can be negatively influenced, especially by infections. Conventional medical treatment is essential for COPD patients. (ag)

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