Wheezing is a high-pitched whistling sound that sometimes occurs during breathing.
Though it’s most commonly associated with breathing out, it can happen when you breathe in as well. When wheezing occurs, it’s a sign that you’re having difficulty breathing. At the Lung & Allergy Institute of Los Angeles, our specialists will determine exactly what’s causing your wheezing, so we can address the underlying condition and restore your optimal health.
Causes of wheezing
In general, the most common cause of persistent or recurrent wheezing is asthma. However, it can also be caused by allergies, bronchiectasis, bronchitis, COPD and a number of other conditions. Because wheezing can occur due to a variety of underlying disorders and diseases, it’s important to seek medical attention to determine the true cause.
Relieving symptoms before your appointment
Though an appointment is necessary to determine the underlying cause of your wheezing, there are steps you can take to relieve the symptom in the meantime, including:
Create moist air
Because moist air can relieve wheezing, try using a humidifier or taking a hot shower.
Increasing your fluid intake can loosen mucus and relax your airway.
Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke, both of which can exacerbate wheezing.
How is the underlying cause of wheezing diagnosed?
To determine the underlying cause of your wheezing, we will begin by collecting detailed information about your symptoms, triggers and medical history. From there, we will use a stethoscope to listen for the wheezing and any other abnormal sounds. Depending on our findings, we may also perform a breathing test called a spirometry and order a chest x-ray – both of which will provide us with the information we need to make a diagnosis. Once we have identified the underlying cause of your wheezing, we will be able to treat it accordingly.
Treatments for common causes of wheezing
Treatment for your wheezing will depend on the underlying condition that’s causing your symptom. As such, here are the most common causes of wheezing, along with the appropriate treatment measures.
If asthma is causing your wheezing...
We will recommend lifestyle changes to avoid your triggers, as well as prescribe long-term control and quick-relief medications to open the airways and help you breathe easier. Learn more about the treatment of asthma here.Learn more
If acute bronchitis is causing your wheezing...
We will prescribe antibiotics, cough medicine and an inhaler to relieve your symptoms while you heal. You’ll also be advised to rest, increase your fluid intake, use a humidifier and avoid smoke and other potential irritants. Learn more about the treatment of acute bronchitis here.Learn more
If chronic bronchitis is causing your wheezing...
We will create a long-term treatment plan for ongoing symptom relief. This may include using an inhaler to reduce inflammation and attending pulmonary rehabilitation to learn to breathe more effectively. Learn more about the treatment of chronic bronchitis here.Learn more
If bronchiectasis is causing your wheezing...
We will create a long-term treatment plan that involves using inhaled medications to help you breathe easier and learning specialized coughing and breathing exercises that can help you clear mucus from your lungs on a regular basis. Learn more about the treatment of bronchiectasis here.Learn more
If COPD is causing your wheezing...
We will create an ongoing treatment plan that involves lifestyle changes, medications and special therapies to relieve your symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. Learn more about the treatment of COPD here.Learn more
If allergies are causing your wheezing
We will work closely with you to develop a plan to avoid your triggers, as well as prescribe medications to lessen your symptoms and improve your quality of life. Learn more about allergy treatment here.Learn more
If you or your child is experiencing unexplained wheezing, please know that relief is possible with among the best wheezing treatment Orange County has available with our experts. Please contact us today to schedule an appointment, and let us help you identify and treat the underlying condition and restore normal breathing.Contact Us