Possible causes of wheezing in children

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It is important to bear in mind that wheezing will make any child uncomfortable as well as short-tempered. Once a child is starting to make a wheezing sound while breathing, it simply indicates that the lower airways are inflamed. Always remember that wheezing might be a symptom of asthma, pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus or even bronchiolitis.

What is wheezing?

Wheezing is best described as a high-pitched whistling sound produced when breathing out and the air flows through the constricted airways in the lungs. When it comes to asthma, wheezing is an indicative symptom but it is not just limited to the condition. Wheezing is normally heard by a doctor using a stethoscope but can also be heard without using one.

Conditions that cause wheezing

Children who have asthma have swollen airways that generate thick mucus which makes breathing difficult. The symptoms of the condition include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.

It is important to note that there are certain conditions that can cause wheezing. If you want to learn ways to manage this symptom, click here.


Asthma is quite common among children. It is basically a condition affecting the lungs that causes difficulty in breathing. The condition is often inherited and can affect the airways and bronchial tubes. Children who have asthma have swollen airways that generate thick mucus which makes breathing difficult. The symptoms of the condition include shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing. Take note that asthma could not be cured but the doctor can help keep the symptoms under control.


Pneumonia is an infection affecting the lungs that can be caused by bacteria, virus, parasite or fungi. The symptoms tend to vary depending on the age of the child and can include wheezing, fever, rapid breathing, chills, chest pain and vomiting. When timely treatment is provided, bacterial pneumonia can be treated within 1-2 weeks while viral pneumonia can last longer.

Respiratory syncytial virus

It is important to note that respiratory syncytial virus can cause infections in the respiratory tract and lungs. This condition is common mostly in children below two years old. The symptoms include wheezing, low-grade fever, runny nose, mild headache and sore throat. In most cases, antibiotics do not have any effect since it is viral infection. The doctor will recommend ibuprofen or acetaminophen to minimize the fever linked by respiratory syncytial virus.


Bronchiolitis is considered as a common respiratory tract condition among children and infants triggered by an infection that affects the airways and lungs. The airways are filled with mucus which makes it difficult for the individual to breathe. The symptoms of bronchiolitis include mild fever, runny nose and wheezing cough. The ideal way to prevent the virus responsible for bronchiolitis is to keep his/her hands clean at all times and to avoid other children who might have cold or cough.

The condition usually lasts about 12 days but the wheezing can last for weeks. Over time and after drinking plenty of fluids, the symptoms will vanish. Just remember that bronchiolitis is caused by a virus, thus antibiotics are not effective in dealing with the condition.


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