Wheezing In Babies: What It Is And Why It Is Not Something To Ignore

Michelle Hopkins

Babies tend to develop colds often, and many parents believe this occurs from teething. Most experts do not believe that teething causes cold-like symptoms. Instead, the symptoms your baby has might be from an illness. Wheezing is one symptom sometimes present with a cold, but this is not a symptom you should attribute to teething. Wheezing can indicate a serious problem that may require immediate care.

What Is Wheezing?

Wheezing is a term that refers to the high-pitched sound you can hear when a person breathes. This sound is not normal and should not be present. If your baby is wheezing when he or she breathes, it can indicate a major illness, such as bronchitis, asthma, or even pneumonia.

When a child is wheezing, it means that the airway in the child's throat is obstructed or narrowed. Because of this, the child will have a difficult time breathing. The narrowing of the airway can occur from inflammation or mucus, or it can happen if something is lodged in the child's throat.

Does This Require Immediate Medical Care?

If wheezing is the only symptom your child is having, he or she may be struggling to breathe from something stuck in his or her throat. If other symptoms, such as runny nose or fever, occur with the wheezing, it is more likely the wheezing is occurring from some type of health problem. In any case, you should take your child to a doctor, such as those at Premier Urgent Care Centers of California, Inc., right away.

How Do Doctors Find The Cause?

When your child visits a doctor, the doctor will first listen to the child's lungs with a stethoscope. This will help determine if there is fluid in the lungs. When a baby has bronchitis or any other type of respiratory illness, the doctor will typically be able to hear fluid in the lungs.

If the doctor cannot determine why the child is wheezing, he or she may recommend taking a chest x-ray of the child. The x-ray can reveal if there is something stuck in the child's airway, and it can also reveal if the child has pneumonia.

If the doctor believes the wheezing is caused by a respiratory infection, he or she may prescribe antibiotics for the child to take. Doctors can also prescribe the use of a nebulizer, which is a device that turns medication into a mist that the child can breathe in.

When a baby is sick and is wheezing, you should take him or her to the doctor. If your regular doctor's office is not open, you could always visit an urgent care center for immediate help.