The last half-century has been an incredible time for the medical community, and certainly for those whose lives have been saved by the advances of medicine and surgical offerings. We’ve learned a lot about how certain foreign objects or particles affect our bodies, for better or worse, and we’re learning more everyday. The next decade promises to bring advancements that most of us can’t even imagine. Even with all the changes, smoke inhalation is still extremely dangerous. These are just a few of the ways in which smoke affects your lungs.
First, it’s important to know what kind of smoke you’ve inhaled. Smoking is obviously harmful to your overall health, and can shave years off your life. Because of lung-related diseases, cancers, and other related ailments that crop up over time, taking a single breath in your later years can become a grueling challenge.
Smoking doesn’t just damage your lungs, though. It affects your brain and heart as well, and negatively impacts your entire body. It has an adverse effect on blood circulation, which leads to a number of cardiovascular conditions. These include heart attack, coronary heart disease, damaged blood vessels, and damaged arteries. This can also cause stroke, which can result in major brain damage and leave you severely disabled for the rest of your life. Smoking can also increase your chances of developing a life-threatening brain aneurysm. When these abnormalities in the brain-based blood vessels pop, many people do not survive. They are extremely dangerous, and the likelihood of occurrence will only go down if you quit smoking for five years.
Smoking can reduce your fertility, irritate and age your skin, weaken your bones, cause bad breath, stain your teeth, and increase the chance of stomach or lung cancer. The list is endless, and only you can protect yourself from these side effects.
Second-hand smoke can have similar effects. So can simple wood-burning smoke. In fact, studies have shown that wood-burning stoves can adversely impact your health as well. The normal signs of poor health from other kinds of smoke include lesser symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and asthma, but also can include more serious conditions like heart attack and lung cancer. Like smoking cigarettes, they reduce the number of years you have left. This is because burning wood or other materials releases the pollution that those materials have stored inside. Burning wood releases dangerous carbon monoxide and other air toxins that can be extremely hazardous to your health.
No matter the type of smoke inhaled, you should be aware that you’re increasing your chances of mild short-term health problems and dangerous long-term health conditions. In order to reduce these chances, do not smoke, and avoid casual burning of wood or other materials.
Here is a video showing how smoking affects your lungs: