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Home > Health Library > Asthma and Wheezing
Wheezing is a whistling noise that occurs when thebronchial tubes, which carry air to the lungs, narrow because ofinflammationormucusbuildup. Wheezing is often present inasthma.
During anasthma attack, the bronchial tubes become smaller. At first, the person may wheeze when breathing out. As the attack becomes worse, the person may also wheeze when breathing in. During a severe asthma episode, wheezing may go away because little air is moving through the narrowed bronchial tubes.
Wheezing is a sign of asthma in children, but it does not always mean that a child has asthma. Children younger than 5 often develop wheezing during a respiratory infection. Children with a family history of allergies seem to be more likely than other children to have one or more episodes of wheezing with colds. Children with certain viral infections, such asrespiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus (which causes the common cold), and influenza virus, also are likely to develop wheezing.
Wheezing also is more likely to occur in children who:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD, MPH - PediatricsAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerElizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
Current as ofDecember 6, 2017
Current as of:
December 6, 2017
John Pope, MD, MPH - Pediatrics & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Elizabeth T. Russo, MD - Internal Medicine
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