Wheezing is a whistling sound heard on breathing out.  It occurs when there is an inflammation and spasm in the lower airway (below the vocal cords).  This sound differs from the raspy sound that is heard from congestion in the nose and upper airway.

Wheezing can occur with a croup, bronchiolitis, bronchitis and pneumonia.  Repeated episodes of wheezing are consistent with a diagnosis of asthma.

If your child has a history of asthma and starts wheezing, the child should be started on short acting medicine (e.g. Albuterol) that has been prescribed.  The inhaled steroids and Singular medicines are helpful to prevent asthma, but do little to resolve an acute attack.

Please call office, if wheezing occurs and …

  1. Baby is less than 12 months of age.
  2. First episode of wheezing ever.
  3. Fever (see Fever).
  4. Breathing faster than normal.
  5. Vomiting.
  6. Unable to drink.
  7. Trouble breathing (nasal flaring or skin is pulling in between or below rib cage or rapid breathing).
  8. Wheezing that is unresponsive to the short acting medicine (e.g. Albuterol) or the medicine only stops wheezing for a few hours.
  9. Wheezing last longer than 3-4 days or having to use Albuterol or short acting medicine every 4 hours for 24 hours.