Wheezing is a term used to describe a high-pitched sound when breathing. This sound is usually heard when exhaling. Wheezing is a symptom of a serious respiratory disorder that requires a doctor’s help as soon as possible. Wheezing is characterized by breath sounds like whistling, and can be accompanied by a feeling of tightness in the chest. Wheezing will sound louder and clearer if you close your ears when exhaling. The doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the sound of wheezing.
Causes of Wheezing
Wheezing is caused by constriction and inflammation of the respiratory tract in the throat and the lungs. Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are the most common causes of wheezing. COPD is a term used for a number of diseases (chronic bronchitis and emphysema) that attack the lungs in the long run. This disease blocks the flow of air from the lungs so sufferers will experience shortness of breath.
Asthma and COPD are indeed the most common causes, but any inflammation in the throat or airway can cause wheezing. For example due to allergic reactions, infections, or irritation of the airway. Wheezing can also be caused by factors from outside the body, such as the presence of foreign objects that are accidentally inhaled. Here are the causes of wheezing in full:
Diagnosis of Wheezing
To identify the cause of wheezing, you need to see a doctor. The doctor will ask for a medical history through several questions. Among other things are when usually wheezing recurred, how long has the complaint of wheezing felt, and whether wheezing arises after consuming certain foods.
Then the doctor will use a stethoscope to listen to the sound of your lungs and your breath. If this is your first time experiencing wheezing, your doctor may recommend additional tests, such as a chest X-ray and a breathing or spirometry test. Other tests such as blood tests and allergy tests may also be done, depending on your history and the results of your doctor’s examination.
How to Overcome Wheezing
Medically, the treatment of wheezing depends on the cause. If wheezing is caused by asthma, there are several types of treatment that can be used:
- Fast-acting bronchodilators in the form of inhalers (inhaled drugs), to widen the respiratory tract. (wheezing treatment by Budesonide)
- Inhale corticosteroids.
- A combination of inhalers and corticosteroids.
- Asthma control medications to reduce inflammation.
- In addition to treatment, one of the most important steps in managing asthma is to avoid the triggers of asthma, so that wheezing complaints and shortness of asthma do not arise.
The symptoms of wheezing can be relieved by hot steam. You do this by turning on the hot shower until the room is steamy or using a steam generator. However, this method can only relieve and not cure, so it does not prevent wheezing from reappearing.
Contact the local emergency department or visit the emergency room if :
- You have difficulty breathing that occurs suddenly
- You have severe breathing difficulties
- You have cyanosis involving the lips or face
Immediately consult a doctor if you feel you have other symptoms such as difficulty breathing and wheezing. Be open to the doctor about your symptoms will help the doctor to identify any health conditions at an early stage.