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Causes

The causes of wheezing in children are more than just one specific factor. Depending upon the cause, the wheezing in children symptoms and the treatment will differ. Let's look at each cause, its symptom and treatment, one at a time.

Acute Bronchitis

Causes: Acute bronchitis is a bronchial infection. In simple terms, it is an infection in the tubes that carry air to the lungs. This infection causes the tubes to produce thick mucus. This mucus affects the breathing. It also, often, causes cough along with the wheezing.

Symptoms: In case the wheezing in children is caused due to acute bronchitis, it will be preceded or accompanied by these symptoms.
  • Common Cold like symptoms. These included a runny nose, stuffed nosed, sneezing, cough, sinus infection (acute), allergic rhinitis, increased chest phlegm, hay fever
  • Painful cough. This would include coughing blood, dry cough, wet cough, cough spasms, persistent cough, coughing at night, chest pain when coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pressure behind breastbone
  • Fever
So, if you notice these symptoms, you need to get in tough with a doctor as soon as possible.

Treatment: So, if the symptoms resemble those of acute bronchitis, here are the treatments that you can attempt.
  • Rest
  • Fluids
  • Pain killers
  • Paracetamol
  • Steam inhalation
  • Heating pad
  • Hot water bottle
  • Antibiotics
  • Physiotherapy
  • Refrain from dairy products(milk increases sputum)
  • Avoid very cold or very hot water
  • Fresh air
However, before administering any treatment, I suggest you consult a doctor.

Allergic Bronchopulmonary Aspergillosis

Causes: It is an allergic reaction to fungi. It can also lead to asthma or a lung disease and resembles inflammatory asthma quite closely. It is a very rare disease.

Symptoms: Here are the symptoms of allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis:
  • Wheezing
  • Low-grade fever
  • Coughing
  • Coughing up brown-flecked masses or mucus plugs
  • Asthma symptoms
Treatment: Treating allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis requires corticosteroids. However, it is extremely imperative before the drug is administered.

Anaphylaxis

Causes: Anaphylaxis is a very rare, potentially life-threatening reaction which is caused due to an allergy.

Symptoms: With anaphylaxis, the symptoms will be very suddenly visible.
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Edema
  • Swollen mouth
  • Swollen face
  • Wheezing
Treatment: Anaphylaxis can be fatal, as such the treatment needs to be done at the earliest. It would include hospitalization and probably an epinephrine shot. Consulting a doctor at the earliest is vital for this condition.

Asthma

Causes: Asthma is a chronic ongoing lung disease. It is marked by acute flare ups or attacks causing difficulty breathing. It includes shortness of breath, cough, chest tightness and wheezing.

Symptoms: Wheezing is the primary symptom of asthma. The other symptoms include the following.
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Shortness of breath after exertion
  • Persistent cough
  • Cough worse at night
  • Poor stamina
Treatment: There is no cure for asthma, as such. However, consult your doctor for all the precautions that one can take to keep the attacks at bay.

Besnier-Boeck-Schaumann Disease

Causes: It is a rare condition wherein inflammatory granular nodules form in various organs.

Symptoms: The following are the symptoms of this condition, other than wheezing.
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Fever
Treatment: There are several forms of medication that can be taken after consultation and prescription by a doctor to treat Besnier-Boeck-Schaumann disease.

Bronchiectasis or Bronchiolitis

Causes: Both the conditions are a little different from each other. Bronchiectasis is caused by chronic bronchiole dilation, secretions and blockages. Bronchiolitis is an inflammation of the bronchioles.

Symptoms: Here are the symptoms other than wheezing that you need to look out for.
  • Bad breath
  • Paroxysmal coughing
  • Coughing foul-smelling sputum
  • Coughing green or yellow sputum
  • Recurrent respiratory infections
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Mild fever
Treatment: Both these conditions requires serious medication, rest and consultation by a doctor. Off the counter medicines may be available, however, it is recommended to take them as prescribed by a doctor in order to avoid allergic reactions to flare up.

Pneumonia

Causes: Pneumonia is a condition caused due to viruses, bacteria or fungi entering the lungs.

Symptoms: Other than wheezing, here are few of the symptoms for pneumonia.
  • High fever in children
  • Chills
  • Chest pain while breathing
  • Dry cough (in early stages)
  • Productive cough (in later stages)
Treatment: Here are the possible treatments that a doctor would consider for pneumonia. However, none of these can be self administered.
  • Antibiotics
  • Intravenous antibiotics
  • Hospitalization
  • Oxygen
  • Pain relief
Heart Failure

Causes: Heart failure is a condition wherein the heart rate suddenly slows leading to cardiac arrest. This is a mostly, a fatal condition. However, it can be treated.

Symptoms: Heart failure or heart attack will occur suddenly and will have these symptoms, other than wheezing.
  • Breathless with exertion
  • Breathlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
Treatment: Heart failure needs immediate medical attention. Certain medicines can be administered by medical professionals only, to bring the heart rate back to normal. If the patient coughs, the heart beats can get a boost too.

Tuberculosis

Causes: Tuberculosis or (TB) is a bacterium caused lung disease. Not always do the symptoms of TB show. Which means that there is often a possibility that a person may be a carrier of the disease, without any symptoms.

Symptoms: Wheezing being a tell tale symptom, following are the symptoms that may be seen if a person is suffering from TB.
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Night sweats
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Loss of appetite
  • weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms
  • Persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up bloody sputum
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Recurring bouts of fever
  • Weight loss
  • Progressive shortness of breath
  • Urine discoloration
  • Cloudy urine
  • Reddish urine
Treatment: Tuberculosis requires medication along with therapy to be treated. Hence, it requires contacting and consulting a doctor at the earliest.

Wheezing is a common symptom which can be quite worrisome to your baby. Consult a health care professional immediately to diagnose the cause.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.