Is that wheezing you hear? Wheezing is a cause of concern for the little ones. It is a high-pitched sound that can be heard when breathing, most clearly heard when they exhale, and in extreme cases, also on the inhale.

The sound happens due to the air that is being forced through inflamed airways, or when they become narrower than normal. Narrow airways take place because of possible swelling of the airways’ linings, secretions or abnormal growth in the airways, and bronchospasm – the contraction of the muscle within the airways.

Other causes of wheezing include asthma, anaphylaxis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchiectasis, pneumonia, respiratory tract infection, smoking, and bronchiolitis.

Some of these conditions occur more frequently in the winter seasons where the weather turns cold. Nevertheless, we are not all helpless when it comes to prevention.

Treatment for wheezing includes anti-inflammatory medication and bronchodilators. Anti-inflammatory medications can reduce inflammation and excess mucus in airways.

Other home friendly solutions include: yoga, keeping your home warm and humid (to open your airways), taking antioxidants such as vitamin C and E, ginkgo biloba, meditation, and using a humidifier.

Wheezing can become serious as it may be a symptom of a breathing problem that needs early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Young children, especially, needs to see a doctor immediately if wheezing persists for a prolonged period of time and shows no signs of going away. Remember to follow up with your prescribed medications in order to reduce the symptoms.

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