Q:

How do you treat wheezing?

A:

Quick Answer

Medication is used to treat wheezing, although the type of wheezing determines the type of medication prescribed, according to WebMD. For example, medications used to treat wheezing caused by asthma are different than the medications used to treat wheezing associated with acute bronchitis.

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Full Answer

When asthma is the cause of wheezing, various pharmaceutical remedies may be used to treat it. Fast-acting bronchodilator inhalers may be prescribed, such as Proventil, Xopenex or Ventolin,which work by dilating the constricted airways. Inhaled corticosteroids work in much the same way; some of the most common are Pulmicort and Flovent. Combinations of corticosteroids and bronchodilators are also an option, including Symbicort and Advair.

Other options for asthma-related wheezing include Singulair or Accolate in pill form to reduce the inflammation of the airways. Non-sedating antihistamines may also be used, such as Allegra or Claritin.

Bronchodilator inhalers may be used in treating bronchitis-related wheezing; antibiotics may also be used. This is usually the case when the bronchitis is caused by an underlying problem with the lungs or if a bacterial infection is suspected. Most wheezing that comes with bronchitis dissipates when the bronchitis infection is cleared up.

When wheezing turns into difficulty breathing, emergency treatment is needed. Emergency personnel can administer a shot of epinephrine to open the respiratory passages, or theymay give the patient a nebulizer treatment if needed.

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