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Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I am a smoker who has for the last 4 years occationally coughed spots of blood, usually when I have bronchitis or a sinus infection. I have had a chest x-ray and there were no masses on my lungs. They did find some scars. I usually feel like something is draining into my throat and tickling which makes me cough. That is when I can sometimes see a small spot of blood. I also sometimes see blood when I blow my nose. I work in a very dusty environment. I am worried and would like some input as to what this could be.
Thank you for your question. There are several potential causes for coughing up blood from chronic bronchitis, sinus infections to more serious causes such as malignancies. It is important to realize that cigarette smoke exposure can injure the lining from the sinus passages down to the airways of the lungs. This can result in inflammation and inability to clear both particulates and infectious organisms that we are all exposed to on a daily basis. Smokers are at higher risk of such problems as chronic bronchitis.
I would suggest that you discuss further with your primary care provider and work towards quitting smoking if you have not already done so.
Patrick Nana-Sinkam, MD
Associate Professor of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University