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Wheezing

Wheezing is a whistling sound made during simple breathing or respiration that may be accompanied with difficulty in breathing. It occurs especially while exhaling and is just not a sound but an alarming signal for ailments like asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), hay fever, cystic fibrosis, CHF (congestive heart failure) and bronchitis. It may suddenly choke your breath and become a medical emergency. 
 
Narrowing of the air passage is the main cause of wheezing and may be due to inflammation of the airway lining, mucus secretion in the airway passage and an abnormal growth or tumour (cancer) in the airway. Wheezing can occur at any age but people who have allergies, cancer, are past smokers or children in day care are at a higher risk. Some common causes of wheezing are: bronchitis, smoking, emphysema, heart disease, pneumonia, asthma, anaphylaxis. Symptoms that may occur with wheezing sound are: short breath, coughing, stuffy nose, swelling of tongue and lips with bluish tinge around the mouth.
 
Causes of Wheezing:
1. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
2. Emphysema
3. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
4. Heart failure
5. Lung cancer
6. Sleep apnea or vocal cord dysfunction
7. Anaphylaxis
8. Bronchiolitis or bronchitis
9. Inhaling a foreign object
10. Pneumonia
11. Reaction to smoking or respiratory tract infection
 
Do’s
 
  • Keep away from dust and other allergy causing substances
  • Inhale steam often
  • Keep yourself hydrated and drink 3-4 litres of water a day
  • Practice yoga and meditation as it can help suppress the symptoms
  • Include antioxidants, Vitamin C and E in your diet
 
Don’ts
 
  • Don’t smoke and also avoid passive smoking
  • Don’t ignore the problem, consult the physician
  • Avoid spicy foods
  • Strain yourself and cause breathlessness

 

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