Skip to Content
Home > Wellness Resources > Health Library > Breathing Smoke or Fumes
It is common to cough for a few minutes after breathing in smoke or
fumes from a fire. Your breathing should return to normal within a short period
of time, about 30 minutes. If your breathing does not return to normal or if your
breathing is getting worse instead of improving, it is important to think about
whether you are having breathing difficulties because of smoke
Smoke inhalation may occur in any fire. It is more likely to occur if
Symptoms of smoke inhalation include:
More serious smoke inhalation causes swelling (edema) in the air
passages. This swelling can also hurt the vocal cords, making it hard for the
person to talk.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a serious concern with
smoke inhalation injuries.
If smoke inhalation causes serious symptoms, or if you have any
high-risk conditions such as asthma or chronic lung disease, evaluation by a
doctor is needed.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerR. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
Current as ofNovember 20, 2015
Current as of:
November 20, 2015
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & R. Steven Tharratt, MD, MPVM, FACP, FCCP - Pulmonology, Critical Care Medicine, Medical Toxicology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.