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Doctor insights on: How Does Alcohol Affect The Respiratory System

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How does alcohol affects the respiratory system and why?

How does alcohol affects the respiratory system and why?

Through the brain: Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, which can affect the centers in the brain that regulate respiration. Consequently, breathing may slow and not keep up with demand, especially when asleep. Also, alcohol lowers your defenses against aspiration, contributing to pneumonia. Lastly, alcohol can make sleep apnea worse making it further difficult to breathe. ...Read more

Dr. Warren Foster
7 doctors shared insights

Respiratory System (Definition)

The respiratory system consists of all organs in the body related to breathing including the nose, mouth, trachea and lungs. All four of these are ...Read more


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My colleague uses a lot of hand sanitizer to clean her tables. Can the alcohol evaporated from the sanitizer damage the eyes and respiratory system?

My colleague uses a lot of hand sanitizer to clean her tables. Can the alcohol evaporated from the sanitizer damage the eyes and respiratory system?

Unlikely an issue: Direct contact of the sanitizer with the delicate surface of the eye would be harmful. However, the dissipation of the alcohol vapor as it evaporates from the cleaned surfaces has such a low concentration that harm to the eyes or lungs would be unlikely. Using such products in open spaces is less worrisome than those that are confined and poorly ventilated . ...Read more

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Can someone have respiratory depression after drinking alcohol?

Can someone have respiratory depression after drinking alcohol?

Yes, they can: Yes, if they drink enough, respiration can be depressed. With high enough alcohol level, the person can become comatose and die. ...Read more

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How does alcohol affect my immune system?

How does alcohol affect my immune system?

Many ways: Alcohol slows down the white blood cells that fight infection, catch and actually eat and kill various germs, and also decreases the production of antibodies and other important humors (cytokines etc.) produced by other kinds of white cells. They make individuals more prone to various infections, especially respiratory, because of smoking and sedating people so they aspirate, and w. Unusual germs. ...Read more

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How does alcohol affect the peripheral nervous system?

How does alcohol affect the peripheral nervous system?

Definitely yes: It is well known that alcohol is a depressant of the CNS and vascular system, leading to irreversible changes in the peripheral nervous system. Additionally there is a direct neurotoxic effect of alcohol. The most frequent consequence of chronic alcohol intake is a toxic alcohol induced polyneuropathy.The symptoms include numbness of the soles, followed by discomfort of feet and legs. ...Read more

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Is it really that bad to drink alcohol? How does alcohol affect the digestive system?

Is it really that bad to drink alcohol? How does alcohol affect the digestive system?

Depends: The question is how much alcohol? Low doses of alcohol (1 standard drink/day in women and elderly, 2 per day in men) causes little or no problems in most people, and may actually increase the good cholesterol (hdl). Larger doses cause many problems, mostly to our ability to live with others successfully and navigate life's pathways, but also to the heart, liver, GI tract and every other organ. ...Read more

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Does alcohol use weaken the immune system? I am not talking about being an alcoholic but rather a casual drinker or even one drink per day.

Does alcohol use weaken the immune system?  I am not talking about being an alcoholic but rather a casual drinker or even one drink per day.

See answer: Over time, and with other underlying medical conditions, it may make you feel run down and weaken you, but generally, a glass of wine for example, as evidenced by several European studies, may provide some cardiac benefit, and has not revealed any immune system issues. ...Read more

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Dr. William Singer
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Respiratory (Definition)

Pertaining to the work of breathing done by the chest ...Read more