Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are there serious risks to your health if you live with a cigarette smoker?"
I have lived with my dad for around 5 years now and he is always smoking. Are there any risks to my health if I'm around him a lot? I know there are a lot of diseases smokers can get, but what about people who around smokers a lot?
Unfortunately, the answer to your question is, yes, there are serious health risks associated with second hand smoke exposure, which you can get from living with someone who smokes all the time. Among the potential health risks perhaps most serious is the risk of long term damage to the lungs, including the development of emphysema and even lung cancer. Furthermore, exposure to smoke chronically is associated with a range of other problems, including nasal allergies, chronic sinusitis, and asthma. I suggest that you set up a visit with your primary care doctor for a general physical examination. They will be able to check out your overall health and help determine if you are suffering from any ill health effects from your exposure to cigarette smoke. Make sure to mention to them if you have any troubling symptoms, such as nasal congestion, cough, sinus pressure, or sore throat. In addition, you may want to encourage your father to go see his own primary care doctor. These days, there are many excellent medications and other therapies that can be used to help quit smoking and, if your father is interested in considering quitting, his primary care doctor will be able to help him do it.
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