A high-pitched whistling sound, which appears when you breathe, may be a frightening symptom. This happens when due to inflammation your airways become narrow. Doctors call this wheezing. One of the most common wheezing causes is asthma. Wheezing symptoms include a creaking or squeaking sound accompanying your breathing. Wheezing treatment, of course, depends fully on its cause and mostly consists of medication therapy. More detailed information about this condition is presented below.
So, once again let us specify: wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound made while breathing. Most commonly it occurs during breathing out (expiration), but it can sometimes be related to breathing in (inspiration).
This is a symptoms, which can be caused by a wide range of conditions, which affect airways. Those include but are not limited to:
- upper respiratory infections
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- History taking and physical exam: To determine what is causing the wheezing, questions about your symptoms and what triggers them will be asked. A stethoscope will be used to listen to your lungs to hear where the wheezing is coming from and how much wheezing you have.
- Lung function test (spirometry): If this is the first time you’ve been evaluated, your doctor will probably ask you to perform a breathing test (spirometry).
- CT of the chest: Additional imaging studies of the chest, such as computed tomography (CT), high resolution CT, or dynamic CT are ordered based on the results of the chest radiograph and pulmonary function tests. Chest CT with contrast can identify vascular rings, aneurysms of the major vessels, mediastinal masses, or lymphadenopathy that compress the trachea extrinsically. Axial CT can often identify long segments of tracheal stenosis, but short segments of tracheal stenosis can be missed. Two and three dimensional reconstruction of the central airway images from high-resolution multidetector CT (MDCT) has been reported to identify airway lesions missed on standard chest and tracheal CT images
- Bronchoscopy: If your doctor is concerned that you may have aspirated (breathed in) a foreign object, or that you may have a tumor in or near your airways, she may order a bronchoscopy to take a closer look down in your airways.
A musical or whistling sound and laboured breathing especially when exhaling may be experienced in people who wheeze. Sometimes, it may be accompanied by a feeling of tightness in the chest.
This sound can be heard even more loudly if your ears are plugged and you exhale rapidly or by when a stethoscope is held at the neck or over the lungs.
On the other hand, the narrowing of the windpipe or vocal cords (in the neck) produces the same whistling sound (stridor) during inhalation.
WHEEZING TREATMENT OPTIONS
A fast-acting bronchodilator inhaler — albuterol (Proventil HFA, Ventolin HFA), levalbuterol (Xopenex ) — to dilate constricted airways when you have respiratory symptoms.