Wheezing

A wheeze (formally called "sibilant rhonchi" in medical terminology) is a continuous, coarse, whistling sound produced in the respiratory airways during breathing. For wheezes to occur, some part of the respiratory tree must be narrowed or obstructed, or airflow velocity within the respiratory tree must be heightened. Wheezing is commonly experienced by persons with a lung disease; the most common cause of recurrent wheezing is asthma attacks, though it can also be a symptom of lung cancer.

Source: Wikipedia

What causes it?

The most common causes of wheezing are asthma, common cold, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (copd). Other possible causes, such as croup, are more rare.

What symptoms are related?

Within all the people who go to their doctor with wheezing, 87% report having cough, 69% report having shortness of breath, and 49% report having nasal congestion.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with wheezing often receive radiographic imaging procedure, plain x-ray, nebulizer therapy, cardiac enzymes measurement, cardiac monitoring, arterial blood gases (abgs), blood culture and prothrombin time assay .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with wheezing include albuterol, prednisone, prednisolone, ipratropium, levalbuterol (xopenex), combivent, budesonide, beclomethasone nasal product, terbutaline, erythromycin / sulfisoxazole, carbinoxamine / dextromethorphan / pseudoephedrine, chlorpheniramine / hydrocodone and metyrapone .

Albuterol
$46
(28 days)
Prednisone
$5
(28 days)
Prednisolone
$15
(28 days)
Ipratropium
$66
(21 days)
Levalbuterol (Xopenex)
$67
(21 days)
Combivent
$164
(28 days)
Budesonide
$281
(28 days)
Beclomethasone Nasal Product

Terbutaline
$47
(28 days)
Metyrapone

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for wheezing include age 5-14 years, age 1-4 years, race/ethnicity = black and age < 1 years.

Age

< 1 years
4.3x
1-4 years
3.9x
5-14 years
1.8x
15-29 years
0.6x
30-44 years
0.5x
45-59 years
0.6x
60-74 years
0.5x
75+ years
0.6x

Sex

Male
1.2x
Female
0.9x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
1.7x
Hispanic
1.0x
White
0.8x
Other
1.2x
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