The nature of wheezing in bronchial asthma and differences from other diseases

Cough, wheezing, shortness of breath in bronchial asthma indicate the development of this disease. Initially, these signs are mild and do not cause much discomfort.   

However, over time, the disease progresses, which leads to an aggravation of the initial symptoms. The further development of asthma is accompanied by respiratory failure, regular exacerbations and other problems.

Bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma is a common pathology of the respiratory tract, the clinical picture of which includes wheezing, dry cough, shortness of breath. The main feature of the disease is the periodic occurrence of asthma attacks. The following factors are capable of provoking this condition:

  • various allergens (pollen, animal hair, cosmetics, food, etc.);
  • some medications;
  • cigarette smoke;
  • contaminated air;
  • respiratory tract infections;
  • experiences, stressful situations;
  • excessive physical activity.

Choking is accompanied by the following symptoms: wheezing, whistling, noises in the bronchi characteristic of asthma, severe cough, chest pain. There are problems with breathing, there is a lack of air.   

Auscultation in the diagnosis of asthma

Auscultation is the primary research method for suspected pathological processes in the bronchi. This type of diagnosis is used to detect wheezing and wheezing when breathing, which is characteristic of bronchial asthma.

In modern medicine, the doctor uses a stethoscope, with which it is easy to pick up even the faintest noises. Direct auscultation was previously practiced. In this case, listening to the organs [M4] of the patient was carried out only by applying the ear to the body.  

To form a complete clinical picture, a specialist needs to examine all parts of the chest. The order of such listening is the anterior region, then the lateral and posterior.  

To obtain a reliable result, the patient must adhere to the rules:

  • take positions prescribed by a doctor; 
  • breathe as deeply as possible;
  • try not to move;
  • keep quiet, do not talk.

To choose further treatment for an asthmatic, it is important for a doctor to determine what kind of wheezing is heard when breathing. Wheezing is classified as dry (on exhalation), moist (audible on inhalation), or mixed. 

Generally , asthma patients have dry wheezing rales that are heard over the entire surface of the lungs. 

To identify other signs of the disease, the doctor prescribes additional diagnostic tests. With this pathology, methods such as bronchoscopy, tomography, spirography, radiography are used.  

Wheezing as one of the symptoms of bronchial asthma

Bronchial asthma is accompanied by certain symptoms. When exposed to exacerbating factors, the patient develops shortness of breath, dry cough, sore throat, breathing problems. 

Wheezing associated with asthma is a common symptom. At the initial stage of the attack, they are very quiet and practically inaudible. Further progression of exacerbation significantly aggravates the situation.

The cough intensifies, an attack of suffocation begins. Whistling and wheezing become loud and prolonged, appear on exhalation, and are heard at a distance. When breathing is disturbed, the diaphragm is stressed, which provokes pain in the chest.

If timely assistance was provided, the symptoms subside and the state of health improves. Otherwise, complications may arise, up to the development of status asthmaticus.

The cause of wheezing in bronchial asthma

Wheezing during an attack of bronchial asthma is divided into two types – dry and wet. Each species has its own characteristics, depending on what pathological processes occur in the bronchi.    

Moist rales appear due to the abundant accumulation of liquid mucus in the bronchi. Heard when breathing due to contact of air with phlegm.

As a result of this interaction, a large number of bubbles are formed in the latter, which burst and make noise. The reason for such wheezing is the development of inflammatory processes in the bronchopulmonary system. The more the disease progresses, the larger the bubbles form and the louder the wheezing.  

Dry wheezing occurs due to the accumulation of thick mucus in the bronchi. Viscous phlegm can form partitions in the airways, interfering with the normal passage of air.

Also, mucus settling on the walls of the bronchi is observed , because of this, the lumen is significantly reduced. The narrowing occurs unevenly (somewhere to a greater, and somewhere to a lesser extent). The combination of the factors presented causes wheezing in bronchial asthma. This phenomenon is observed with bronchospasm.   

Differences in wheezing in asthma and other diseases and the respiratory system

All sorts of noises accompany respiratory pathologies of an inflammatory nature. They are auditioned for bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, laryngitis and other respiratory diseases.

Wheezing caused by the development of bronchial asthma has its own characteristics: 

  • during the onset of the attack, quiet, barely audible noises are observed. With further progression of this process, wheezing becomes loud, distinguishable even from a distance; 
  • often with exacerbation of asthma, dry wheezing occurs, resembling a whistle;
  • noises are noted when listening to the entire area of ​​the lungs, while in other respiratory diseases they are localized in a specific area;  
  • dry wheezing is found on inhalation and exhalation, and moist ones – only on inhalation;
  • in a severe attack, no sounds can be heard in the lungs, even when using medical equipment. 

Frequent manifestations of wheezing and coughing in asthma indicate the progression of the disease and the development of possible complications. Therefore, if these symptoms are present, treatment must be started urgently.

Treating wheezing in asthma

In order to stop an attack of bronchial asthma in time and thereby remove wheezing and noises in the lungs, competent treatment is necessary. With this disease, complex therapy is used to ensure control over the course of the disease and prevent exacerbations.   

Depending on the characteristics of the pathology, for the treatment of bronchial asthma and relief of its symptoms, use:

  1. Antibacterial drugs. Often, with infectious complications, drugs of a wide spectrum of action are prescribed. Aimed at eliminating the focus of infection. Effective in case of extensive inflammation, the presence of accumulations of pus in the bronchi. They are prescribed in combination with agents that restore the microflora of the stomach.
  2. Inhalation. They dilute and remove even stagnant phlegm, help relieve bronchospasm. For the procedure, you will need a special device – a nebulizer, into which the medicine prescribed by the doctor is poured. Inhalations are carried out at intervals of four hours until improvement occurs.    
  3. Aerosols. The required drug is delivered immediately to the bronchi, which explains their immediate therapeutic effect. Most often these are bronchodilators, which relieve spasm in a short time.  
  4. Inhaled glucocorticosteroids. Anti-inflammatory drugs used as the main therapy for bronchial asthma. With prolonged use, they help the patient control the course of the disease, prolong the state of remission.  
  5. Bronchoscopy. With the help of a special device (fibrobronchoscope), the bronchial tree is treated with antiseptics and other drugs. The procedure is prescribed for the purpose of thinning and removing phlegm, suppressing infectious processes, and relieving inflammation. Antibiotics, mucolytics [M29] , antiseptics, bronchodilators are used for therapy . This method is used in the absence of positive dynamics from oral administration of drugs.     

Some patients prefer traditional methods. Teas based on the following medicinal herbs with healing properties help well:

  • chamomile – removes allergens and toxins;
  • turmeric – eliminates inflammation, has an antimicrobial effect;
  • hyssop herb – relieves bronchial spasms;
  • licorice root – helps to restore breathing;
  • mother-and-stepmother – removes cough and wheezing.

Doctors allow alternative therapy, but only as an adjunct to the main treatment after prior consultation with a doctor. 


It is completely impossible to overcome bronchial asthma, however, it is possible to stop unpleasant symptoms and reduce the number of attacks. It is important not only to carry out timely therapy, but also to use prevention methods. If you quit bad habits, lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid allergens, the remission period will be long. 

To control the course of the disease, it is necessary to visit a pulmonologist at least twice a year, and in case of severe pathology, monthly. The doctor orders an examination to determine the presence of inflammatory processes in the body. Diagnostics allows you to assess the state of the respiratory system. This helps the asthmatic person to take care of their health and avoid possible complications. 

event_note August 31, 2020

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