Common causes of wheezing in the chest include asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the MSD Manual Consumer Version. Less common causes include heart failure and inhalation of toxins. Children may experience wheezing in the chest after inhaling a foreign object.
One of the most common causes of wheezing is asthma, according to Mayo Clinic. This condition causes the airways to narrow and swell, making breathing difficult. Respiratory tract infections may cause wheezing in children below the age of 2.
Bronchiestasis, a serious condition in which the bronchial tubes widen and prevent clearing of mucous, can cause wheezing in the chest, notes Mayo Clinic. Some people experience wheezing in the chest due to anaphylaxis, which is a serious allergic reaction to medications, certain foods or insect bites.
Physical obstructions in the airways, such as a tumor or an inhaled object, can also cause wheezing, according to Mayo Clinic. Patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea often experience wheezing as well. Patients with obstructive sleep apnea repeatedly stops and start breathing during sleep.
Other conditions that cause wheezing in the chest include vocal code dysfunction, pneumonia and medications such as aspirin, notes Mayo Clinic. Factors that increase a person's risk of wheezing include allergies, cancer and smoking, reports Healthline.