October 18, 2018

Will my lungs fully recover? Or have i done lasting damage to them?

Ask The Doctor > Questions & Answers > Will my lungs fully recover? Or have i done lasting damage to them?

Patient: I gave up smoking 2months and a week ago . before that i smoked about a pcak a day for about 3 months when i was smoking at my heaviest. after this 3month period i quit properly for about 4 weeks before i slipped and started having the odd ciggarett when i was out. my question is will i have done any irriversable damage to my lungs or can i exspect that over time to be just as fit as i would have been if had never started smoking?

Doctor: I encourage you to keep avoiding cigarette smoking. As you may already know, the most significant risk factor for COPD i s long-term cigarette smoking. The more years you smoke and/or more packs you smoke, the greater your risk. Symptoms of COPD usually appear about 10 years after you start smoking. Pipe smokers, cigar smokers and people exposed to large amounts of secondhand smoke also are at risk.It is impossible to estimate possible lung damage in yourself without proper examination. However, it has been shown that after quitting smoking and depending on the extent of the damage, around 10 years might be needed for the lungs to recover completely. I hope I cleared your doubt.

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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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