Wheezing

Find a symptom by its first letter

Definition

Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound made while breathing. Most commonly wheezing occurs during breathing out (expiration), but it can sometimes be related to breathing in (inspiration).

Causes

  • Allergies
  • Anaphylaxis (a severe allergic reaction, such as to an insect bite or medication)
  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis, a chronic lung condition in which abnormal widening of bronchial tubes inhibits mucus clearing
  • Bronchiolitis (especially in young children)
  • Bronchitis
  • Childhood asthma
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and other lung diseases
  • Emphysema
  • Epiglottitis (swelling of the “lid” of your windpipe)
  • Foreign object inhaled: First aid
  • GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
  • Heart failure
  • Lung cancer
  • Medications (particularly aspirin)
  • Pneumonia
  • Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) (especially in young children)
  • Respiratory tract infection (especially in children younger than 2)
  • Sleep apnea, obstructive (a condition in which breathing stops and starts during sleep)
  • Smoking
  • Vocal cord dysfunction (a condition that affects vocal cord movement)

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