Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Quit smoking
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Quit smoking

After being diagnosed with Asthma I have quit smoking. When I did smoke it was about a pack every 2-3 days for about 15 years.  Unfortunately since then I have had more trouble breathing and have been coughing up sputum with brownish sputum.  Is this the normal process in clearing the lungs?  It has been two weeks now and I am feeling a little better and the sputum seems to be coming less and less.  There is less and less brown stuff as well.  My Asthma doctor has me on Advair 500/50 and it seems to be helping but I still have periods of difficulty breathing.  If this is normal how long will it take to clean out my lungs.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question
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When you quit smoking your lungs begin to recover from the years of smoking abuse.  Coughing up sputum is a good sign.  It is an indication that your lungs are still capable of cleaning themselves.  You will get better when your lungs are clean.  This phase could last for a few months up to a year.  It sounds like you are getting close since you are coughing up less sputum and the sputum is getting lighter in color.

Congratulations, you have made a wise decision to stop smoking!  You may want to look at our Quit Smoking Topic Center at http://www.nationaljewish.org/topic/smoking_cessation.html for ways to help you stick with your wise decision to smoke no more.  Also check with your doctor for other quit smoking resources in your area.

With asthma the basic problem is chronic inflammation along with tightness in the airways of the lungs.  Advair
5 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you so very much for answering my question.  Just to let you know the Advair 500/50 actually seemed to make my breathing worse.  I have decreased from two timse a day to once in the morning with 250/50.  Hopefully after a while I can go down to 100/25 and then it would be great to get to no inhaled steroids.  Anyway I am going to start exercising and weight lifting again to get my self in the best shape I can.

It is sad because I used to be very healthy and then I let smoking get such a grip on me and degrated my health to this.  Unbeleivable,  I will never smoke again.  guaranteed.

BTW.  It has been 3 weeks and less and less sputum as well as the brown stuff.  My lungs are probably loving this as well as I am.  It is scary when you can not get a full breath, which I still encounter but not as bad.

Anyone out there that smokes... QUIT ...  It does nothing but rob you of precious life.

Thanks again...  Good luck to all..
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for answering my question earlier.  It has been about 4 weeks now and though I am breathing better I still have times throughout the day of shortness of breath.  I understand that when people quit smoking they have a harder time breathing at first and then clears up over time due to excessive mucous/sputum production in cleaning out the lungs.  Since I have been diagnosed with Asthma is the excessive mucous/sputum production causing me to have more of a problem with this than most people would.  It seems to be getting better and I am couging up less and less but the breathlessness still hits me off an on.  It seems I could breathe better before I quit.  

Thanks again
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Avatar_n_tn
I ALSO HAVE COUGHING UP BROWN STUFF IAM NOT SURE IF I HAVE ASHMA THOE.WHILE YOU WERE COUGHING UP THIS BROWN STUFF WOULD YOU GET CHEST PAIN OR FILL YOUR HEART BEAT FAST AT TIMES.
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Avatar_n_tn
I quit smoking two months ago.  I smoked for 16 years. For the past month I have been gaging on sputum too.  My sinsus are are also packed beyond belief. My doctor swears I have allergies that were masked by the cigarette smoke- along with my lungs cleaning themselves out. I have to constantly take allergy medication just to keep my ears from plugging up and my cough at a level where I can breath. It feels like I have Bronchities.  
The weird thing is that I was fine, swimming laps, and felt great untill this all started happening and now I can berley get through each day.
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