Wheezing is a high pitched whistling sound that can be heard during breathing. It happens when air travels through narrowed airways.
Wheezing is most often associated with asthma although it could also be a symptom of some other serious respiratory problem. It indicates that the person is having trouble breathing.
Causes of Wheezing
While asthma is the most common cause of wheezing, it could also be a sign of another potential cause. Some of these include:
- Obstruction of the airways by a foreign object
- Inflammation and mucus accumulation in the air passages
- Side effect from medications
- Sleep apnea
- Acid reflux
- Cardiac asthma
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Lung cancer
Who is likely to suffer from it
Wheezing can happen to anyone. But there are some factors that put the following people at a higher risk :
- Current or past smokers
- People suffering from allergy
- Cancer patients
- Babies who spend a considerable time in child care centers
- Genetic condition. People who have a family history of respiratory problems.
Remedies for Wheezing
While long term wheezing is a sign of serious ailment and should get professional medical attention, short term wheezing that is caused by allergies or minor illness can be manages by using these home remedies.
1. Garlic Tea/Water
Garlic is an effective remedy to deal with wheezing and cough. With a high content of vitamin C, you can either use garlic to make tea or mix it with water.
- Boil a cup of water.
- Add 5 gloves of garlic to it.
- Let it rest until it comes down to a room temperature.
- Drink it once daily till wheezing goes away.
- Crush 3 garlic cloves
- Add it to a cup of water and boil it
- Drink it 3 times a day
2. Mustard Oil with Camphor
Mustard oil has been known to for a variety of health benefits it provides us, among them being respite for respiratory problems like cough or wheezing. It is a widely used substance in the Indian subcontinent due its health benefits.
Mustard oil can be used with camphor to make a vapor rub that can be applied on your chest.
- Mix 1 tbsp of mustard oil with 1 tbsp of camphor
- Rub the mixture on your chest
- Lie back and relax
- Do it every day for 1 week for conclusive results.
3. Flax Seeds
High in Omega 3 fat content and containing anti bacterial properties, flax seeds should be consumed regularly by people who suffer from wheezing or are susceptible to suffer from it. It can be consumed in 2 ways:
- Intake one tsp of flax seeds daily until the wheezing stops.
- Chew half a tsp of flax seeds for a few days.
While flax seeds do not give immediate results, they work effectively, and without the side effects of over the counter medications, in the long run.
A common condiment found in almost every home, turmeric has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. It is often used to treat a variety of illness. In case of wheezing, turmeric reduces inflammation of the airways. Here are some ways you can use turmeric:
- Mix half a tsp of turmeric powder with a glass of warm milk or water. Drink it every day.
- Make a paste of turmeric powder, ghee and black pepper and apply it on your chest by massaging it gently.
5. Sesame Oil
This is a remedy for quick relief during wheezing. It can either be taken in as a solution or applied on your chest as vapor.
- Take 1/4th glass of sesame oil with a half a tsp of asafoetida.
- Add a pinch of camphor to it.
- Mix the solution properly.
Whenever you feel any symptom of wheezing, drink it, preferably in the morning. If you don’t find yourself being particularly excited about drinking it, you can store the mixture in a bottle. Use it to massage your chest and upper back when you find yourself wheezing.
6. Lemon Juice
Lemon regulates the mucous and prevents the airways from getting blocked. Since it is so easy to find one at your home, it is a good remedy for wheezing. It is also pretty rich in vitamin C.
- Drink a glass of lemon juice every day. Remember not to add sugar to it. You can substitute sugar with honey.
- You can also take one tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice or lime juice every morning.
7. Eucalyptus Oil
Widely known for its anti-inflammatory and decongestant properties, eucalyptus oil is simple, easy to use and effective remedy for wheezing. It opens blocked airways and provides immediate relief.
It can be used during steaming. Take a pot of boiling water and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to it. Now inhale the fumes which will bring instant relief to your wheezing problem.
8. Get Rid of Irritants
Wheezing is triggered due to presence of irritants in the air and around your house. You need to get rid of them to avoid triggering your wheezing episode.
Some of the things you can do to remove air irritants from your home are:
- Use an air purifier in your bedroom, or the room where you spend most of your time.
- Dust, sweep and vacuum your home regularly.
- Stop smoking and keep away from smokers so you don’t breathe in second hand smoke.
- Avoid pet hairs. If you have a pet, you need to vacuum more thoroughly.
- Protect yourself from exposure to chemicals and dust by wearing masks and gloves while cleaning the house.
- Clean the filters of you air conditioners as and when needed.
- Use hot water to wash your bed sheets and stuffed animals regularly.
- Use a humidifier in your room.
While these home remedies are effective for wheezing, it is meant for short term wheezing problems. If you suffer from repeated episodes of wheezing or your wheezing persists for a long period of time, it is important that you consult a doctor. In case you face difficulty in breathing and have a swollen face, contact emergency services immediately.