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Will regular intake of alcohol and smoking affect my lungs?

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Practicing since : 2006
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43 year old alcoholic male. Drinking since mid-teens, but has increase beer intake to 2 1/2-3 cases (5%ABV) per week over (I'd say) past 5 years. He has contracted pneumonia twice in past 3 years. Had a severe case of Mono when he was 16. Seems to get a lot of colds and sore throats. Hacks up phlegm every morning. Used to take Nyquil at night for colds, now Mucinex is his drug of choice. Not a big smoker - smokes about 4 cigarettes a day except weekends, then maybe 10 cigarettes while drinking. Refuses to quit drinking for any reason. Do you think his drinking is affecting his lungs? Also takes short quick breaths while sleeping. Will take a quick inhale through nose and 'puff' it out through mouth. Have only witnessed this once because I happen to be awake. Snores.
Posted Thu, 6 Feb 2014 in Lung and Chest disorders
Answered by Dr. Satyadeo Choubey 2 days later
Brief Answer: Go for pulmonary function testing, chest xray Detailed Answer: Hi, Thanks for your query. Two things are worth mentioning here. Smoker even at this frequency may cause, Airway loss of ciliary mechanism to handle the mucous and bacteria. This can be one of the cause for this cough....better say smoker's cough. Drinking if leads to altered consciousness may lead to depressed gag reflex, so there may be aspiration of microbe rich oral secretion into the trachea. This can cause repeated infection and may lead to lung abscess. He also may be having obstructive sleep apnoea as you have told about the noisy sleep. What I feel is, he must go for sputum examination, chest x-ray and pulmonary functioning testing to reach to correct diagnosis. If needed CT scan thorax can be done.... Best wishes
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