3 years

I have been a smoker for about 20 years

I have been a smoker for about 20 years before but now I have stopped smoking. It’s been a year since i have stopped smoking. But lately i felt a bit difficult to breathe. Is it a sign of something doctor?

  • Hello there. Thanks for your question. There are various causes of difficulty in breathing and it may or may not relate to your history of smoking. Here are some of the causes that can make it hard for you to breathe:

  • Heart attack – If you’re experiencing sudden breathing difficulty, your chest feels tight or you have pain spreading to your arms, neck and jaw, please call 999 immediately. These are the symptoms of heart attack and you need to be treated accordingly.

  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – COPD is the name for a group of lung conditions that cause breathing difficulties – emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Emphysema is damage to the air sacs in the lungs while chronic bronchitis is a long-term inflammation of the airways. COPD is a common condition that mainly affects smokers. The symptoms of COPD include increasing breathlessness, persistent productive cough with phlegm and frequent chest infections. The symptoms tend to worsen over time and can limit your normal activities. However, appropriate treatment can help to control the symptoms.

  • Pneumonia – Pneumonia is the inflammation of the tiny air sacs in one or both of your lungs. It is usually caused by bacterial infection. The symptoms of pneumonia include fever, breathing difficulty, dry or productive cough with phlegm, feeling generally unwell and chest pain which gets worse when inhaling or coughing.

  • Heart failure – Heart failure happens when the heart is unable to perform its function properly which is to pump blood around the body. It usually occurs when the heart is too weak or stiff. The symptoms of heart failure include breathing difficulty after activity or at rest.

  • The causes of difficulty in breathing are not limited to those stated above. It is advised to see your doctor to get a proper examination and diagnosis.

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