Understanding Wheezing -- Symptoms
What Are the Symptoms of Wheezing?
The symptoms of wheezing include a musical or whistling sound and labored breathing, particularly when exhaling; sometimes they're accompanied by a feeling of tightening in the chest. You can hear wheezing more loudly if you plug your ears and exhale rapidly, or by using a stethoscope held at the neck or over the lungs.
Call Your Doctor About Wheezing If:
- You are wheezing and do not have a history of asthma or an asthma action plan for how to treat any wheezing.
- Wheezing is accompanied by a fever of 101° or above; you may have a respiratory infection such as acute bronchitis, sinusitis, or pneumonia.
- Your wheezing and coughing worsen, especially if you notice a change in the color of your mucus; you may have chronic bronchitis, emphysema, or COPD.
Get emergency medical help immediately (Call 911) if:
- You have trouble breathing or you feel that you are suffocating; this can be a sign of a severe asthma episode or an allergic reaction (anaphylaxis).
- You begin wheezing suddenly and cough up frothy pink or white phlegm; this may be a sign of heart failure.
- You cough up bloody phlegm or you have a sharp, localized chest pain (pleurisy); this could be a sign of pulmonary embolism.
- You also have hives; swelling in the face, mouth or neck; bluish tint to your skin; confusion; lightheadedness; or passing out.