Wheezing: a high-pitched whistling sound during breathing. It occurs when air flows through narrowed breathing tubes.
Considerations: Wheezing is a sign that a person may be having breathing problems. The sound of wheezing is most obvious when breathing out (exhaling), but may be heard when taking a breath (inhaling).
Wheezing most often comes from the small breathing tubes (bronchial tubes) deep in the chest, but it may be due to a blockage in larger airways or in persons with certain vocal cord problems.
Causes: Asthma, Breathing a foreign object into the lungs, Bronchiectasis, Bronchiolitis, Bronchitis, Emphysema (COPD), especially when a respiratory infection is present, Gastroesophageal reflux disease, Heart failure (cardiac asthma), Insect sting that causes an allergic reaction
Medications (particularly aspirin), Pneumonia, Smoking, Viral infection, especially
at 10:16 PM on Jan. 27, 2011