Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
""Does smoking hookah affect how long I take to recover from a cold?""
I'm 18, and I don't smoke anything else regularly besides hookah, although I have tried cigars, cigarettes, and marijuana. I've had a sore throat for almost a month, and I notice it tends to get worse the day after I go out and smoke. I've not taken any medication except for vitamin C pills and cough drops.
Hookah is an inhaled smoked substance that differs from other smoking products as it is filtered through water. I would strongly recommend you see your doctor to discuss your medical situation. To answer your question -- yes, smoking hookah will prolong your recovery from a cold. A cold, or medically known as an upper respiratory tract infection is caused by inflammation of the upper airways and nasal passages. This inflammation is mostly caused by virus that infect this upper airway, although bacteria can do this as well. Normally, it take 5-7 days for your body to clear the infection and decrease the inflammation in the airways. Anything that prolongs the inflammation will cause an worsened cold. Smoke inhalation, even if filtered through water, will cause inflammation of the airways. Therefore I would strongly recommend stopping hookah. Keep in mind that smoking alone can cause inflammation and cold symptoms. You may no have a cold but simply a sore throat from smoking. Also keep in mind that any smoke inhalation increases one's risk for lung disease. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (emphysema) is increased in smokers, as is lung cancer. I would recommend that you discuss this with your primary care doctor.
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