You still have a few more weeks of summer to enjoy an evening campfire with your friends. We spoke to you earlier this year about how the smoke can affect your eyes, but did you know it can affect your nose and throat, too?

What is smoke made of?

When organic matter like wood burns, it releases fine particulate matter made up of carbon and other dust particles. Harmful chemicals, such as benzene and formaldehyde, are also released.

How can smoke affect my nose and throat?

Michael Falcone, MD

If you breathe in too much smoke, it can irritate your nose and throat. This can cause your nose to run and your throat to hurt. If it’s too hot, you could even burn your throat, although you would likely have burns on other parts of your body, too. A burnt throat is also a sign of smoke inhalation, which can also be accompanied by chest pain, a cough, shortness of breath, a headache, and fainting. Too much smoke can also affect your voice, leaving you sounding hoarse, CEENTA ENT doctor Michael Falcone, MD, said.

What can I do to make myself feel better?

The first thing to do is avoid the smoke. Try to sit upwind, and make sure you don’t sit too close to the fire.

If the smoke does affect you, there are a few things you can do at home to treat yourself. If you only have mild irritation, you can treat yourself at home by drinking plenty of water and sucking on throat lozenges. Avoid other irritants, like cigarette smoke and excessively dry air.

If you inhaled smoke, seek medical attention right away. Your doctor will help develop the treatment plan that’s best for you.

Campfires are a fun part of summer that we want everyone to enjoy. If you do find the smoke has caused you some medical issues and want a doctor to check out your throat, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a CEENTA ENT doctor.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, consult your physician. Dr. Falcone practices in our University office. To make an appointment with him or any of CEENTA’s ENT doctors, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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