How is wheezing treated?

Your treatment for wheezing depends on its underlying cause. If wheezing is severe or interfering with breathing, you may need to be hospitalized until your breathing improves.

Asthma. If your wheezing is caused by asthma, you’ll likely be prescribed a type of inhaler to reduce inflammation and open your airways (a bronchodilator, for example). Inhaled corticosteroids and pills such as montelukast (Singulair®) are anti-inflammatory medicines used to treat asthma.

Bronchitis. If your doctor determines bronchitis is causing your wheezing, you may be prescribed a bronchodilator such as albuterol (Proair® HFA, Proventil® HFA, Ventolin® HFA) or an antibiotic to heal a bacterial infection. This should help you breathe better as you recover.

Other causes of wheezing may require specific treatments. Your doctor will prescribe a plan to treat the underlying cause of your condition, as well as soothe symptoms to help you feel better faster.

What can I do at home to treat wheezing?

There are a number of ways you can improve your wheezing:·

  • Breathing exercises have been shown to help relax your airways if you’re asthmatic. Practice yoga breathing (prayanama) preferably in a moist, humid environment. If you’re not familiar with prayanama breathing, any slow, deep breathing exercises will help expand your lung capacity and relax your airways.
  • Drink hot herbal tea. The warmth and moisture of the tea will help relax your bronchial tubes. Some studies show green tea to have antibacterial properties as well.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking irritates your lungs and inflames your airways. Avoid second-hand smoke as well.
  • Use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to eliminate potential allergens in your home.
  • Vaporize your air with a vaporizer or humidifier.

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