Sinus & Allergy

Is Vaping Bad for You?

written by Collin County ENT
Is Vaping Bad For You?

It seems everyone is into vaping – do you need to worry about it? As ENT specialists, we stay acutely aware of potential harmful trends that have the potential to affect our community – and vaping is currently topping the list. We want to help our patients understand the risks involved with e-cigarette use or other related behaviors related to vaping. If you or someone you know is a cigarette smoker, then chances are you are familiar with the battery-operated devices that are replacing traditional paper-wrapped cigarettes. 

Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists Discourage Patients from Taking Up Vaping

 There is somewhat of a misconception that e-cigarettes are a healthier option as compared to traditional cigarettes. There are many known health risks associated with smoking e-cigarettes – some of them life-threatening. It is very concerning to see some of our patients suffer from the effects of vaping – and some of them so young. 

What is Vaping Exactly? 

E-cigarette devices, often referred to as a vape pen, contain a liquid that is then inhaled through a device known as a vaporizer. The liquid, which can contain a variety of substances sold in easily accessible smoke shops, is the vapor inhaled by the user – hence the term “vaping”. 

What is the Liquid used to fill Vape Pens?

E-cigarettes contain harmful ingredients that include nicotine, propylene glycol, glycerin, and sweeteners. Some of the liquids in vape pens can also contain CBD or THC products. Most importantly, they contain flavorings that are attracting a very young audience, including teenagers. 

What ENT Related Problems Can Vaping Lead to? 

In our offices, we see many instances of vape related complications. The concern for the harmful irritants contained in tobacco in traditional cigarettes led to an increase of people making the switch to vaping. Unfortunately, many are unaware the aerosols contained within the vapor provide a handful of harmful substances every time they are inhaled such as: 

  • Heavy metals; nickel, tin, or lead
  • Micro-particles that can be inhaled into the lungs
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Cancer-causing substances
  • Allergy-causing substances

These inhaled substances are resulting in many hard to resolve health consequences. Experts at John Hopkins speak about the many unknowns about e-cigarettes. The link between lung-related illnesses and vaping is still being investigated.  

Some of the more common problems that require our attention are: 

Hearing Loss. There is a connection between vaping and hearing loss. According to studies conducted by the NIH, it cites the ingredients used in vape liquid cartridges reduce inner ear cell viability. 

Chronic Sinus Infections. The toxic by-products created by vaping inhibits the immune responses in the body and alters the mucosa within the nasal passages. Because of bacteria build-up, the tissues in the sinus cavity become very irritated and inflamed. Many vape forums indicate that chronic sinus issues are one of the many downsides of maintaining the habit. 

Severe Throat Irritation and Cough. Vaping involves inhaling a vapor that may or may not contain nicotine. While nicotine is not a desirable substance, the vapor still contains many substances that still produce what is known as the vape cough. This cough is most likely caused by the propylene glycol, which dehydrates the body. The cough seems to be an indicator of potential harm to the respiratory system overall. 

Nasal Problems and Allergies. The CDC indicates vaping tends to suppress the immune receptors within the nasal mucosa. There is also sufficient evidence to suggest a direct correlation between the development of nasal problems and allergies – some more serious than others. The vapor exhaled through the nose exposes the nose to many irritants that exacerbate existing conditions as well. 

I Vape Occasionally, Should I See my Local ENT? 

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, please call us right away to expedite your appointment time:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive Coughing
  • Lightheadedness, loss of balance
  • Earache or hearing loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in taste, sore throat, or hoarseness

We Share the Concern About Vaping Alongside the Frisco, TX Community 

As leading providers of ENT services to our local community, we understand how important it is to be kept up to date with what may harm our citizens and affect our youth. Practicing compassion to our patients and helping them live quality lives is our prime objective. It has been amazing to see the rise in awareness regarding vape use, especially the potential impact of our youth. We support those efforts and want to be an active partner in the prevention of vaping related illnesses. 

Here are some facts surrounding the most recent developments associated with vaping from leading medical research establishments:

  • As of this writing, the CDC confirms there have been 1080 cases of lung-related injuries related to e-cigarette use and 18 related deaths. ***The majority of these deaths were attributed to THC or CBD usage in the e-cigarette.*** 
  • In 2018, a clinical study confirmed evidence that those who are exposed to e-cigarette vapors are more susceptible to pneumonia. 
  • Early research suggests the vapor in e-cigarettes use might be carcinogenic, which means it could lead to cancer, although there are fewer carcinogens in e-cigarettes than traditional cigarettes. 
  • Vaping is the cause of near-epidemic causing proportions of lung-related illnesses within the last two years. You can read more about the impact of vaping here on the CDC website

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Our staff at Collin County ENT prides ourselves on providing the best care for our patients. We hope that we were able to shed some light on this trend that seems to affect so many. If you have any questions about how vaping may be impacting yourself or a loved one, please reach out.

If you are experiencing the following symptoms, please call us right away to expedite your appointment time:

  • Excessive Coughing
  • Recurrent Sinusitis
  • Earache
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Changes in taste, sore throat, or hoarseness
  • Neck mass or swelling

Our clients' stories

We find our patients’ experiences the most rewarding part of the job. Without them, we wouldn’t be one of the longest standing ENT practices in the area!

“This was my first time visiting this office. These folks were super friendly!! Starting with the front desk to all the help in the back, the Dr. Littlejohn was very patient and listened to all my concerns. I dealt with 5 people total due to testing and they all were genuinely nice! Loved it, and not to mention quick service. Great customer service, I’ll be sure to refer family and friends! ”

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“I have used Collin Co. ENT and Dr. Kenny Carter for over 3 years, primarily for ear problems. The staff has been consistently helpful and friendly to me. When I have had problems needing immediate attention and explained the need, have been able to get an appointment within a reasonable time to address the problem. I recommend Dr. Carter and his staff.”

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