Different conditions can cause a chest rattle, including an infection, according to Healthline. Chest rattling is often referred to as rales.
Some other issues that can cause abnormal chest sounds include fluid in the lungs and lung disease. When people experience rattling, they may also suffer from shortness of breath or a tightness of the chest. In order to find the exact cause of the rattling, the person should consult a doctor. Only a doctor can determine the cause and give advice on how to alleviate the symptoms. For severe shortness of breath, a person should seek emergency medical attention.