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What happens when you are exposed to cigarette smoke on a daily basis?

What happens when you have emphysema and are exposed to cigarette smoke on a daily basis for about a month?

Quit smoking 17 years ago and have done pretty good till recently. My mom had lung cancer and I had to take care of her everyday for the last month of her life. She was smoking one after another so I had to breathe that all day everyday. Now I feel like I’m having more trouble breathing and I can’t cough anything up. I haven’t been to a doctor in a long time because if I have anything like my mom I don’t want to know. I can’t walk around like she did knowing I’m going to die. If I could please get someone to tell me what will work?


Community Answers
  • Leon Lebowitz, BA, RRT moderator
    2 years ago

    Hi Lobrien and thanks so much for sharing your circumstances here. First of all, let me congratulate you on quitting smoking (17 years ago!). That is truly an achievement you can be proud of. Keep up that good work!
    Since you indicated that you were exposed to second hand smoke for the month you were taking care of mom, and now have increased difficulty breathing, it is entirely possible the exposure has exacerbated your existing condition. We understand your concerns about not wanting to see a physician, but I would suggest that you do so despite your apprehensions. If your increased difficulty breathing is because of the trigger (second hand smoke), the doctor may be able to adjust your treatment and medication regimen to make you feel more comfortable. You may be aware we cannot provide medical advice or diagnostics over the internet (for your own safety), and so it would be prudent of you to see your doctor at this time. Please do check back with us and let us know how you’re doing. All the best, Leon (site moderator)

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