Why is wheezing usually worse when asthmatic?


Quick Answer

Wheezing is typically worse for people with asthma because asthma causes the airways to become swollen, so mucus backs up and the immune systems adds more fluid to the breathing passages, according to the Allergy and Asthma Network. As a result, the breathing passages are congested, causing wheezing.

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Full Answer

During an asthma attack, the airways fill up and the bronchial muscles try to hold the airways open by twitching and straining, which causes difficulty exhaling and inhaling, according to the Allergy and Asthma Network. As a result, used air is trapped in the lungs and difficult to release through swollen, mucus-filled passageways. As the small portions of used air squeeze through the lungs, a wheezing sound develops and ultimately causes individuals to cough or force air with shallow and rapid breaths.

By the time a person with asthma begins wheezing, the lung function is often severely congested with mucus and inflammation, according to the Allergy and Asthma Network. To prevent wheezing and complications with asthma, sufferers should avoid exposure to allergens and environmental irritants and get medication, such as a metered-dose inhaler or nebulizer, to treat symptoms and help clear the air passageways. Many asthma patients also use a valved holding chamber to administer and inhale medication deeper into the airways, which reduces the amount of medication that is deposited inside the mouth instead of the lungs.

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