Most of us know that smoking can result in lung cancer or heart diseases. However, smoking is also the reason why millions of people suffer each year from other chronic diseases - many of which concerning ear, nose and throat. If you smoke, it is worthwhile to discover how quitting smoking can help you live more comfortably and, most importantly, save your life.
What are the main health problems caused by smoking?
Out of over 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are harmful and at least 69 carcinogenic. These chemical products can cause not only lung, but also mouth, throat and oesophagus cancer or cancers affecting other parts of the head and neck as well, cancers that can be fatal if not detected early.
Every year in France a total of 6,900 people die of mouth, pharynx, larynx and oesophagus cancer, more than 20,000 of lung cancer and more than 10,000 of COPD.
In addition to the increased risk of lung and mouth cancer, the risk of respiratory infections is just as high. Tobacco is not only dangerous for smokers, but also for those around them. The exposure to second-hand smoke imposes the inhalation of 4,000 chemical substances contained in the cigarette. It should be noted that a child whose parents are smokers is twice as likely to develop otitis at a young age.
The most recurrent problems of the ENT sphere caused by smoke are:
• Sore throat
• Chronic laryngitis, with voice degradation
• Loss of taste
• Ear infections
• Ear buzzing (tinnitus)
• Thyroid disorders
Why is it so important to stop smoking?
When you quit smoking, you significantly reduce your risk of cancer and ENT disorders related to smoking. In brief, the fewer chemical and carcinogenic products are in your body, the more likely you are to lead a healthy life.
Visiting an ENT specialist can save your life
If you smoke and have symptoms or disorders such as those mentioned above, it is important to make an appointment with an experienced ENT doctor so that he can detect or exclude a serious illness, help you ease your symptoms and improve your life comfort. He can also advise you on ways to quit smoking.