How does smoking affect the lungs?
Around 500 million microscopic air sacs called alveoli are found in your lungs. These alveoli are reservoirs of the air you breathe and draw oxygen from the air you breathe and expel carbon dioxide. Smoking kills the cells that line these air sacs, which causes them to collapse. This hampers the process of breathing and air exchange and leads to insufficient oxygenat
Alveoli damage deteriorates over time as well. Additionally, as lung tissue deteriorates, it gets more fibrous, making it more difficult for people to fully expand their lungs upon inhalation. Less lung tissue and lung expansion result in less oxygen reaching all the necessary locations. Due to this, many individuals do not realize there is an issue until they begin to experience shortness of breath.
Your lungs and airways undergo major modifications due to smoking. Some changes happen quickly and suddenly. These include things like pneumonia and colds. Emphysema is one example of another, more chronic alteration that occurs gradually and can last a lifetime.
Here are a few detrimental modifications that smoking makes to your lungs and airways.
Your lungs and airways’ mucus-producing cells enlarge and multiply when you smoke. As a result, mucus production rises and thickens.
This extra mucus cannot be removed by your lungs in an efficient manner. As a result, the mucus continues to obstruct your airways and causes you to cough. This extra mucus is also prone to infection.
Smoking speeds up the aging process of your lungs and interferes with their ability to defend you against infection.
The lungs get inflamed and itchy after smoking. Even one or two smokes might irritate the throat and make you cough. Additionally, smoking can damage the lungs and lung tissue. Less oxygen reaches your body’s vital organs because of the reduction in air gaps and blood arteries in your lungs.
The cilia, or broom-like hairs, that border the lungs clean and help keep the airways clean are damaged by smoking. After lighting a cigarette, cilia start to move more slowly. Even one cigarette can cause your cilia to function more slowly for several hours. The number of cilia in your lungs decreases as a result of smoking, leaving fewer cilia to effectively clean the breathing apparatus leading to greater chance of infection and injury.
Inflammation occurs in the tissues and tiny airways of smokers’ lungs. This could make your chest feel constricted, make you wheeze, or make you feel out of breath. Chronic inflammation causes the formation of scar tissue, which alters the structure of your lungs and airways and can make breathing difficult. A chronic cough with mucus might be caused by lung inflammation over many years.
Smoking damages the alveoli, or tiny air sacs, in the lungs that facilitate oxygen exchange. Some of those air sacs are harmed when you smoke. Because alveoli do not regenerate, when you destroy them, you permanently damage a portion of your lungs. Emphysema manifests itself when enough alveoli are lost. Emphysema causes severe shortness of breath and can lead to death.
Your airways are lined with cilia, which are small brush like hairs. The cilia remove debris and mucus, keeping your lungs clear. Cilia are killed or temporarily rendered paralyzed by smoking. You become more vulnerable to infection as a result. Smokers experience more respiratory infections and colds than non-smokers.