Wheezing.com was created to be a quick-reference resource for online viewers. Visitors can come here and try to define different issues related to wheezing and wheezing conditions. The most common ailments that cause wheezing are asthma, allergies, bronchitis, and emphysema. We also have additional conditions listed throughout the website. Please feel free to view our pages. We hope you will find value here at wheezing.com.
is a particularly noisy and difficult breathing pattern characterized by rapid inhalation and labored exhalation. The breathing sounds are most marked upon exhalation.
Wheezing is a common symptom of many conditions that impair the respiratory passages. Those who have chronic respiratory problems — such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, or emphysema — may simply learn to live with a certain degree of mild but persistent wheezing. However, wheezing that develops suddenly and is accompanied by other symptoms, as well as chronic wheezing that worsens suddenly, may signal a life-threatening emergency.
In addition to the diseases listed below, wheezing may be caused by the inhalation of a foreign object, which blocks the larynx or bronchial tubes. Objects commonly inhaled include loose dental fillings, pins, and small pieces of food (especially peanuts). Immediate medical attention, which usually includes emergency surgery, is necessary to remove foreign objects that reach the bronchial tubes.
Here are just some of the ailments and health conditions that can contribute to wheezing:
Allergies are immunological disorders characterized by an abnormal reaction to a substance known as an allergen that does not cause problems for most people. A variety of allergens — pollen, dust, and animal dander, to name only a few — can trigger allergic reactions that affect the respiratory system. Most respiratory allergies primarily involve the upper respiratory tract, producing such symptoms as sneezing, a runny nose, and teary eyes. However, some allergies can affect the lower respiratory tract and cause wheezing.
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder that most often develops in childhood and can cause periodic attacks of wheezing and breathing difficulty. People exposed to occupational irritants such as chemicals and dust may also develop asthma. If someone with a history of asthma begins wheezing, which may happen after exertion, he or she is probably having a minor asthma attack. If breathing is so difficult that the person has a sense of suffocation, the attack may be severe enough to require emergency medical care.
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the mucous membranes that line the main air passages of the lungs. If wheezing develops over the course of a day or so and there is also a fever above 100 degrees, the diagnosis is probably acute bronchitis, which is a viral infection. Mild wheezing that develops slowly, comes and goes, and is accompanied by a cough that produces a gray or greenish-yellow phlegm may signal the presence of chronic bronchitis.
Emphysema is a disease in which the tiny lung sacs (alveoli) through which oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged become damaged. In addition to wheezing, the primary symptoms of emphysema are shortness of breath and recurrent bouts of bronchitis. Symptoms tend to worsen slowly but progressively over a period of years.
Second-hand cigarette smoke will make asthma and other lung problems much worse.
In contrast to cardiac arrest (a sudden cessation of the heartbeat), heart failure is a condition in which the heart pumps inadequately because of prolonged hypertension, heart valve disease, or some other problem. As a result, blood backs up in the venous system. In some cases, such a backup causes the lungs to become swollen and congested. This condition, called pulmonary edema, is an acute and potentially life-threatening symptom of congestive heart failure. Wheezing that develops suddenly and is accompanied by a cough that brings up frothy, pink, or white phlegm may be a warning sign of pulmonary edema.
Occupational Lung Disorders:
Long-term exposure to chemicals, dusts, and other substances in the work place can cause a variety of respiratory disorders. Virtually any such disorder that affects the lower respiratory system may provoke wheezing, bronchitis, and similar symptoms.
Reactive Airway Disease:
(AKA Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome or RADS) Reactive airway disease is a general term that doesn’t necessarily indicate a specific diagnosis. It may be used to describe a history of coughing, wheezing or shortness of breath of unknown cause. These signs and symptoms may or may not be caused by asthma. Use of the term reactive airway disease, in part, reflects the difficulty in establishing a diagnosis of asthma in certain situations — such as during early childhood. Although it’s possible for infants and toddlers to have asthma, tests to diagnose asthma generally aren’t accurate before the age of 6.
Advice About Wheezing
Anyone who develops persistent wheezing should see a physician promptly for diagnosis of the underlying problem. A chronic illness that causes wheezing should be controlled by a self-care regimen recommended by a physician. Sudden, severe wheezing — especially if it is accompanied by a productive cough — warrants an immediate medical consultation. If a physician cannot be reached, the person should go to a hospital emergency room. Depending on the cause of the wheezing, a physician may be able to prescribe inhalant medication to help ease breathing.