Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why am I wheezing when I breathe?"
When I take really deep breaths I hear a wheezing sound in my chest. Not a smoker and haven't been sick. What is going on? Do I have asthma and I never knew it?
Wheezing is a sound that occurs when the bronchioles (tubes that carry air in and out of the lung) become constricted. This constriction makes it difficult to get air in and out of the lung. Air moving through these constricted airways make a high pitched sound we call a wheeze. Some people can even hear their own wheezing. Wheezing can occur because from a few different problems, but asthma is the most common type. Asthma comes in many different severities, and can develop at pretty much at point in someone's life. It can also be triggered by many different factors. Some people have asthma that is triggered by certain perfumes, or other fragrances, other people respond poorly to cigarette smoke, and other people have the so-called exercise induced asthma. People with more severe asthma can experience wheezing for no apparent reason. Not every person that wheezes has asthma. People with other types of lung disease and heart disease can wheeze. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. Your doctor will listen closely to your lungs and determine if you are wheezing. Your doctor may also perform in office pulmonary function testing. This can help tell if you have a lung disease like asthma, and can help get you on the right treatment faster.
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