Are you suffering from second hand smoke symptoms and don’t even know it?
Or maybe you’re trying to find out if you have second hand smoke allergy symptoms because you’ve been feeling a bit off lately.
Either way, this post can help you get some clarity on those issues.
Below, you’ll find two master lists:
- General Symptoms of Second Hand Smoke
- Specific Allergy Symptoms of Second Hand Smoke
If you’re experiencing any of the things mentioned on these lists, you may want to consult a physician. That person should be able to tell you how much second hand smoke has impacted your health.
Additionally, many people who are exposed to second hand smoke choose to use an air purifier to their home. Air purifiers are specially designed devices that suck smoke out of the air and trap it in a series of filters. This produces clean, fresh air for you to breathe.
If you want to protect your health from smoke inhalation, take a look at our post on the best room air purifier for smokers and their family. While smokers use it to get rid of visible smoke and its odors so they can keep a cleaner home, this machine also does double duty by protecting the health of others inside the home.
It’s worth a quick look if you have any concern over second hand smoke exposure.
General List of Second Hand Smoke Symptoms
There are literally dozens of secondhand smoke symptoms that you want to be aware of, especially if you have ongoing health issues.
Tobacco products have thousands of chemicals in them, so each person will be affected differently by second hand smoke exposure.
The general symptoms include but are not limited to:
- Bladder cancer
- Blood clots
- Brain tumors
- Breast cancer
- Cardiovascular disease
- Chronic cough
- Cleft lip and palate
- Ear infections
- Eye irritation
- Eyesight deterioriation
- Fertility issues
- High blood pressure
- Learning problems and ADHD
- Lower birth weights
- Lung cancer
- More respiratory infections
- More frequent and severe asthma attacks
- Nasal irritation
- Peripheral artery disease (PAD)
- Poor lung development
- Premature birth
- Pulmonary embolism
- Reproductive issues
- Shortness of breath
- Stomach cancer
- Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- Throat cancer
- Tooth decay
- Weakened immune response
Specific List of Second Hand Smoke Allergy Symptoms
On top of the regular consequences of second hand smoke, many people are also allergic to it.
There are an estimated eight million people in the United States alone with a second hand smoke sensitivity or allergy.
The most common allergy symptoms include:
- Asthma attacks
- Chest tightness
- Compromised lung function
- Difficult/labored breathing
- Respiratory system inflammation
- Runny nose
- Shortness of breath
- Watery eyes
Frequently Asked Questions About Second hand Smoke Exposure
Now that you know the general symptoms of second hand smoke exposure and specific allergy symptoms that may occur, we’ll cover a few frequently asked questions.
These questions will help you understand just how quickly second hand smoke can have an impact on your health.
How long does it take for second hand smoke to affect you?
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as harmless exposure to second hand smoke. The symptoms get worse as your exposure rate goes up.
Here is what the Cleveland Clinic tells us about exposure time and the effects of second hand smoke:
- 5 Minutes – A stiffening of your aorta can occur as much as if you smoke a whole cigarette yourself.
- 20 to 30 Minutes – Blood clotting and fat buildup in the blood vessels can occur. In turn, this increases your chances of a heart attack or stroke.
- 2 Hours – An increase in your chances of having an irregular heartbeat. This can trigger a heart attack or cardiac event.
Can you get addicted from secondhand smoke?
Yes and no.
The Centers for Disease Control report that severe or chronic exposure to second hand smoke can cause you to have higher levels of nicotine levels in your brain.
While this won’t make you addicted to it, it will increase your vulnerability to getting addicted to nicotine as a whole.
Even minor exposure to second hand smoke can alter the way your brain perceives nicotine.
Is second hand smoke worse than smoking?
No. The World Health Organization points out that being around second hand smoke is not as bad for your health as the physical act of smoking.
Both types of exposure to tobacco smoke can have similar effects on your health make it worse over time. However, your body doesn’t absorb as many chemicals from second hand smoke as you do from actually smoking.
Can second hand smoke kill you?
Yes. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that roughly 41,000 people die from second hand smoke every year. This is due to breathing in the airborne chemicals from tobacco products.
Second hand smoke can also cause you to develop lung cancer without ever lighting up a cigarette yourself.
How long does second hand smoke stay in a room?
Second hand smoke can clear up within a few hours of someone lighting up a cigarette or cigar, but third hand smoke is a new phenomenon.
According to U.S. National Library of Medicine, third hand smoke can linger indefinitely in a room. This is the smoke particles that cling to the the surrouding surfaces in a room, such as the walls, floor, ceiling, and furniture.
Technically, third hand smoke will stay in a room until you do a deep cleaning and a person stops smoking in it.
Air Purifiers Can Be a Life Saver
As we mentioned at the top of this post, air purifiers are simple devices that can strip smoke particles out of the air around you. This leads to cleaner, fresher air for you to breathe that’s not filled with second hand smoke chemicals.
If you want to find out more about how these machines work, take a look at our guide on the top room air purifier for smokers and their family. It explains how each of the filters work to remove visible smoke particles and the odors that tobacco leaves behind.
Adding an air purifier to your home may just be the thing that reduces your second hand smoke symptoms. They’re also known for giving people relief from second hand smoke allergy symptoms.
So, give one a try and see the difference for yourself.