I am a heavy smoker for 20 years I have

Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > I am a heavy smoker for 20 years I have

Patient: I am a heavy smoker for 20 years. I have a very dry painful nose. I also take drying meds which we are tapering off to a very low dose. I have so far quit smoking for 5 days on the nicotine patch program. Will my nasal mucosa recover its wetness if I stay quit? How long might it take?

Doctor: Hi.Thanks for your query.I have read your history and understood your concerns well. – heavy smoking 20 years – dry painful nose – also take drying medicines – tapering off to a low dose – quit smoking for 5 days – on nicotine patch – wants to know whether the nasal mucosa recover its wetness if stay quit – how long it takes ….Yes, surely. You can get good results.Primary aim will be no smoking and keeping away from all sort of irritants that can act on nasal mucosa.If proper care is taken it can take about one and half months for the results to show up and continued efforts can get you reasonably good results.I would advise you the following in addition the following:Opinion by an ENT to see the exact position of the nasal mucosa and passages, CT scan of the sinuses to confirm that they are normal.Blood tests for CBC, Vitamin A and D. This is required for correction of any deficiency which is very important for having healthy mucosa. Needs supplements of multivitamins accordingly.Stopping of any antihistamine and other medication which cause drying up of mucosa.I hope this answer helps you to recover well. Please feel free to ask for further relevant queries if you feel that there is a gap of communication.

Comments / Follow Ups

Patient: Thanks. Had ENT visit- dry crusted mucosa. Ct scan clear and X-rays negative. In addition to smoking overuse of decongestants contributed to dryness – stopped those months ago, what are some examples of irritants to avoid?

Doctor: Thanks for your feedback.
Has the ENT said this to be atrophic rhinitis?
Good that CT and X-ray are normal.
Dry crusted mucosa can be due atrophic rhinitis.
If there is no widening of the nasal passages, this is an early change and reversible.
Irritant to avoid:
Dry and dusty atmosphere.
Scents, fumes. Deodorants.
Do not dehumidify rooms much.
Your ENT or the Nurse would explain you about saline nasal drops/spray; sodabicarb nasal washes if there is much crusting.
Take care.

Patient: Don’t think the ENT knows what strophic rhinitis is. Will continue as suggested. A lot of ENS type symptoms. Good thing I quit smoking – that was tough. Looking at Acell/platelet therapy for nasal nerve damage. Have you ever heard of this? Seems to be clinical trials only with some success.

Doctor: Just heard of Acell/Platelet therapy but no details known.
Please discuss about our discussions with your ENT and you may get additional information/ therapy.

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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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