Q. Can smoking cause chest congestion and productive cough?

Answered by
Dr. Noushin Payravi
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Feb 06, 2020 and last reviewed on: Feb 08, 2020

Hello doctor,

I have chest congestion with heaviness in chest. I also have a constant cough with sputum. I am not taking any medication at present for this. Could this be due to smoking?

Dr. Noushin Payravi

Family Physician General Practitioner
#

Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Your cough and chest congestion is probably due to bronchitis (smoking can be the underlying reason however, at the moment you are experiencing a phase of exacerbation due to infection or an allergic reaction). I would like to know about the onset of your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing these productive coughs and chest pain?

Nonetheless, CXR (chest x-ray) is the necessary step before prescribing appropriate medications. Your probable diagnosis is bronchitis (likely an allergic one). I recommend using a nasal corticosteroid to subside the symptoms such as Mometazone or Beclomethasone. You will also benefit from using antibiotics such as Azithromycin. Macrolides such as Azithromycin are not only anti-microbial agents but have some anti-inflammatory effects that are quite impressive in bronchitis.

Gargling warm saline along with installing a humidifier in your room will be of great importance. Also, a PPD (purified protein derivative) test is always recommended as a primary tool to screen tuberculosis in patients with chronic cough. Do not freak out about it but it is worth the visit since prevention is always far better than treating a late-stage infectious disease.


The Probable causes:

Allergy, infection.

Investigations to be done:

PPD, Sputum test, CXR.

Differential diagnosis:

Infectious bronchitis. Allergic bronchitis. COPD. Tuberculosis. Pneumonia.

Probable diagnosis:

Bronchitis.

Treatment plan:

Beclomethasone nasal spray, Azithromycin 1 g on the first day then 500 mg for five days, Theophylline-G suspension, one table spoon every night.


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