ZocdocAnswersDoes wheezing cause fatigue?

Question

Does wheezing cause fatigue?

Does wheezing cause fatigue? My son's breath is wheezy. He's 18 and he doesn't smoke, but he wheezes and he complains of exhaustion, even when he should be well-rested. What is wrong with him?

Answer

Wheezing is characterized by a coarse high-pitched whistling sound that is heard during breathing. It occurs when a part of the respiratory tree (breathing tubes) are narrowed or obstructed and often causes difficulty breathing. The most common cause of wheezing is asthma which is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways that is characterized by attacks of wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing and chest tightness. Other common causes of wheezing include allergies, infections such as bronchitis or pneumonia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and smoking. It makes sense that your son is complaining of exhaustion as his body is having to work harder to take every breath and never gets a break. It is very important for him to see his primary care provider who is familiar with his past medical and family history to discuss his symptoms and have a complete evaluation. The doctor will perform a complete inspection of his nose, throat, heart and lungs as well as his general appearance. Your son might need to have a PFT (pulmonary function test) test or spirometry to evaluate his lung function. The test is simple and involves breathing into a tube. Depending on the severity of his wheezing and other symptoms the doctor might also order a chest x-ray.

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