Q:

What causes throat wheezing?

A:

Quick Answer

Respiratory disorders, such as asthma, allergies and pneumonia; gastroesophageal reflux disease; and heart conditions may cause throat wheezing, according to Healthgrades. Throat wheezing may also occur due to smoking and vocal cord dysfunction, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Full Answer

Congestion of the lungs and narrowing of the airways can cause reduced airflow, resulting in wheezing, as explained by Healthgrades. Other respiratory disorders that may lead to wheezing include acute bronchitis; bronchiectasis, which is the destruction and widening of the large airways; a foreign object in the airway; and lung cancer.

Bronchiolitis, which is inflammation of the smallest airways in the lungs, and pulmonary edema, which is the accumulation of fluids in the lungs, may cause wheezing, according to Healthgrades. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, may also cause the problem.

Life-threatening conditions that can cause wheezing include acute asthma that is not cured even after a prescription treatment and an allergic reaction referred to as anaphylaxis, according to Healthgrades. Epiglottitis, which is the inflammation and swelling of the epiglottis, may also result in wheezing.

Certain medications, especially aspirin, may lead to wheezing, as Mayo Clinic explains. Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, which is common in young children, and obstructive sleep apnea, a disorder in which breathing frequently stops and starts during sleep, may result in this problem. Since wheezing may be a signal of a serious disease, Healthgrades advises patients with this condition to seek immediate medical attention.

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