If you hear a whistling sound comes out of your baby, don’t panic. It may be because she is wheezing. Most cases of wheezing are found in adults. However, it is common that the condition is also experienced by babies. Find out why and how to treat wheezing in babies.
What is wheezing?
It is normal when newborns make noises when they’re breathing. Their lungs and nose are still adapting with the new environment, which is different than inside the womb. Usually, it will go away on its own as their respiratory system becomes more developed.
However, wheezing is a different case. It is a condition when your baby respiratory system becomes tight. Because of this constriction, a whistling sound will come out from her nose when she exhales.
This constriction can be caused by something that blocks the airway passages in the lungs such as dried mucus.
Another common cause is because babies’ lungs are still small. Also, their lungs cannot return yet to their former shape during exhalation, causing the air to rub against the right space. As a result, you hear the whistling sound.
Why do babies sound congested?
When your baby becomes wheezy, check if there is something bothering her respiration system. Some of the conditions below can cause wheezing to your baby.
If your baby has an allergy, her body will react towards the allergen and think of it as a foreign object. Therefore, this reaction will cause her immune system to produce mucus in order to fight the allergy.
It is hard for a baby to get rid of the mucus on her own. Thus causing the mucus to be trapped inside her narrow nasal passages. This trapped mucus blocks the nasal passages, causing the exhaled air goes out with a whistle-like sound.
Bronchiolitis is an infection of the lower respiratory system caused by a virus attack. This condition is commonly found during cold weather. If your baby is having a cold, coughing, and breathing hard, it is the first sign of bronchiolitis.
Normally, the symptoms will last for days or week. However, in some cases, your baby can suffer from this condition for months or longer.
Bronchiolitis can be treated at home, but if you are worried and the condition is getting worse, call a doctor immediately.
Asthma in babies is not easily detectable. This is because the symptoms are similar to other illness. However, some babies may have sensitive respiratory tract so that they have higher from suffering asthma when exposed to dust, pollution, or smoke. When that happens, your baby may cough, have a difficulty in breathing, or wheeze.
Wheezing does not always mean asthma. Nevertheless, if your baby keeps wheezing for a long time, you can go to a doctor to check if she gets asthma or not.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a condition when stomach acid moves up towards esophagus, causing burn-like feeling in the chest.
The acid can enter the lungs, causing irritation or even swelling in the respiratory tract. This is what causes wheezing in your baby.
It is better for your baby to be seated for at least 30 minutes after she eats in order to minimize the risk the acid move up.
- Other causes
In some cases, wheezing can be a sign of chronic disease. For example, your baby may be suffering from immunodeficiency, congenital vascular anomalies, cystic fibrosis, pneumonia, and other diseases.
How to treat wheezing in babies
How you treat wheezing depends on the factors. If this is the first time your baby is wheezing, and the condition is not too severe, you can treat it on your own at home. Below are some ways you can do at home. However, if the wheezing continues and is getting worse, please go to the doctor as soon as possible.
Hydrate the air
If the air around your baby is too dry, you can use a humidifier to put more moisture to the air. As the air gets hydrated, what blocks your baby nose, such as mucus, will be loosened.
Get the mucus out
You can use a bulb syringe to suck the mucus out of your baby airway. However, please do it carefully as you don’t want to hurt her newly developed nasal passages. Also, clean the device first before using it.