A wheeze is a high-pitched whistling sound associated with breathing due to narrowing of the air passage.
This is to be differentiated from noisy breathing due to partial blockage of the nose or due to
the collection of
phlegm in the windpipe or its branches.
CAUSES: Most cases of recurrent wheezing are due to asthma (see section on
Allergies). A viral
infection called bronchiolitis affecting smaller infants can also
present as a wheeze. In older children, tropical eosinophilia is also a common cause. A foreign body in the airway or a gland (due to
tuberculosis or any other cause) pressing on the airway can also give rise to a wheeze.
MANAGEMENT: If you suspect that your child is wheezing for the first time in his life, let a
confirm it. Do not give any medicine on your own.
If the child is not crying, the doctor will be able to
hear the wheeze well with his stethoscope. Hold your child up in
your arms with his head on your shoulder. Do not undress him.
Let the doctor listen to his back first and then notice his breathing.
If your doctor confirms that it was a wheeze, he may
give the child an injection, or a medicine with a nebuliser,
or by mouth (see Asthma in Allergies) and wait for
the response. If he finds dramatic improvement, he may suspect that the
child has asthma. If you know that your child gets recurrent wheezing, you must follow the advice given by your
doctor. You may also like to read the section on asthma. If he considers that tropical eosinophilia should be ruled
out, he may ask for a blood test.
11 February, 2013