How to Stop Wheezing When Lying Down and Its Causes

Why do you crackle or wheeze while lying down? Is it a cause for alarm? Wheezing when lying down on left or right side can mean a number of things. In this article, find a comprehensive coverage on the causes and how to stop wheezing when lying down.

Why Do You Wheeze When Lying Down
Why Do You Wheeze When Lying Down

According to Mayo Clinic, wheezing is the high pitched whistling sound that is made when one is breathing. This particular sound is often associated with breathing difficulties, and may occur when you are breathing in (inspiration) or when you are breathing out (expiration). Narrowing and inflammation of your airway in any one location, from the throat all the way to the lungs could result in wheezing when lying down. Below, we are going to look at some of the causes of wheezing when lying down, which include: COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma, both of which are known to cause spasms and the narrowing of the small airways found in the lungs.

Wheezing when lying down on left or right side

Normally, wheezing is an indication of an underlying medical condition or illness. In almost all cases, you will find that wheezing relates to the breathing system that is also known as the respiratory tract system. When this system is irritated, it could cause wheezing to occur. But, when this condition only manifests itself at night, it indicates that it is exaggerated or triggered by a condition, which is only present during the night hours.

However, it is important to understand that any type of inflammation present in your larger airways or throat could cause wheezing when you are lying down your left or right side. Some of the common causes of wheezing include:

  1. presence of foreign objects
  2. physical obstructions
  3. Infections
  4. allergic reactions.

Causes of wheezing while lying down

What Causes Crackling or Wheezing Sound
What Causes Crackling or Wheezing Sound

What causes wheezing while lying down? Find the causes below here. They include:

1. Pneumonia

This is a condition that can be caused by both bacterial and viral factors, but is in many cases characterized by the inflammation of your air sacs in either one or both lungs, which may also be accompanied by a buildup of various fluids. If you listen to your lungs, you will find that wheezing caused by pneumonia presents itself as a moist rale because of the fluid movement taking place in the air sacs.

2. Bronchitis

There are two main types of bronchitis: acute and chronic. But regardless of the types, bronchitis occurs when your bronchial tubes become inflamed. In many cases, it is brought about by a virus, which often appears after you have had a flu or cold, or had a similar illness in the recent past. When you have bronchitis, you will experience crackling in your lungs, which occurs in the form of a wheeze that sounds very moist.

3. Asthma

This is a combination of the swelling and narrowing of your airways, as well as the production of excess mucus by the body. Consequently, you will find that asthma often produces a moist crackle or wheeze in your lungs. Unlike in bronchitis, you will find that the sounds produced when one has asthma are not automatically linked to the current state of your bronchial tubes. While we’re on the subject, you will find that asthma is categories under COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases). All diseases under this category are known to produce a wheezing sound.

4. Post nasal drip

It is considered to be the cause of wheezing when you hear the wheezing sound when you are lying down, as opposed to hearing it when sitting up. Essentially, what takes place during the post nasal drip is that all the excess mucus that was in your nose will start finding its ways down your throat all the way into the air passageways. When these happens, your lungs will start producing wheezing sounds that can be heard without the need to use a stethoscope.

5. Croup

This term is used to describe the inflammation of your vocal cords, which may have been brought about by a viral infection. You can identify this condition through coughing sounds, which often sound like the bark of a seal. Because of your airways becoming narrowing, you will find that croup will often lead to the production of wheeze-like lung crackles. Even though it can affect individuals of any age-group, it mainly affects children between the ages of three months and five years.

6. Heart failure

It is normal for congestive heart failure to occur when your heart has already been damaged by factors such as:

  1. Physical injuries
  2. Past heart attacks
  3. A heart infection
  4. Genetic conditions
  5. Side effects of medications you could be taking at the moment

When you have a heart failure, it normally results in the slow buildup of fluid inside your lungs. This condition is known as pulmonary edema. It will be possible for you to hear moist rales when an individual with edema attempt to take in a deep breath (inspiration).

7. Emphysema

Under normal conditions, your lung air sacs should be spherical in shape. Emphysema comes about when your lung air sacs become weak and burs open, leading to the emergence of holes all over your lungs. The holes in your lungs will make it impossible to process oxygen—as the surface area has become greatly reduced—and in the process limits the amount of oxygen that finds its way into your bloodstream.

Additionally, the condition has also been known to affect the elastic fibers whose main role is to support the air passageways, thus making it hard for you to exhale. Emphysema is a form of chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder, which often results in the production of wheezing sounds, as well as reducing breathing whenever you have to exhale. Research has shown that emphysema is the result of prolonged smoke inhalation, air pollution, as well as inhalation of industrial chemicals and fumes.

8. Foreign materials

You may find it surprising to come to the realization that you may have an object lodged inside your throat, which does not end up choking you. In such a case, you will find that the partially obstructed trachea may begin producing stridor sounds. You may also find blockages that have not been caused by the foreign materials arising e.g. muscle spasm and swelling. Normally, stridor happens to be common among small children, due to the fact that small children have very narrow airways. Additionally, children like to place all kinds of objects inside their mouths.

9. Cancer

A cancer tumor can cause wheezing sounds depending on where it is located in your airways or in your lungs. If the tumor is in your vocal cord or trachea area, stridor or wheezing sounds will be the most likely to be heard. When located in the lungs, rhonchi or rales may be heard.

10. Atelectasis

It is the medical term used to describe a lung that has collapsed, and the wheezing sounds that it produces. In this condition, you will find that the lung collapses in part, or as a whole, and is thus unable to draw in air effectively. Typically, it happens because of sudden trauma e.g. a vehicular accident. It can also occur later due to a complication of a pre-exiting medical condition. When it is examined using a stethoscope, you will find that the lungs will sound very weak and the doctor may detect wheezing sounds. You should note that collapsed lungs are considered to be medical emergencies.

Additional symptoms of wheezing sounds

Given that wheezing sounds rarely ever occur isolation, it is imperative that you pay attention to any other symptoms that may manifest themselves as a way of determining what could be wrong. The general practitioner will rely on these symptoms in additions to the wheezing sounds for him or her to be able to come up with the right diagnosis. However, not all the symptoms listed below appear together with the wheezing sounds. As such, the absence of some of the symptoms can be very informative as well.

  1. Wet cough
  2. Fever
  3. Malaise
  4. Dry cough
  5. Pain when inhaling or exhaling
  6. Headache
  7. Chest pains
  8. Excessive sweating
  9. Trouble catching breath
  10. Purple or blue lips
  11. Tightness in your chest
  12. Coughing up phlegm or blood
  13. Pale skin
  14. Hoarse voice
  15. Confusion or disorientation

Wheezing when exhaling while lying down

The gurgling or wheezing sound made when exhaling is some kind of fluid or mucus present in your lungs, which is trying to escape. Often, the condition is referred to as a case of walking pneumonia. For a proper diagnosis, it is recommended that you consult with your general practitioner. If found to be the case, the doctor may prescribe some medication and provide therapeutic exercises that you can perform at home as a way of improving your health status.

Wheezing and shortness of breath when lying down

Generally, it is not uncommon for a person to experience breath shortness when dealing with stressful moments or after having taken part in a strenuous physical activity. But, when you experience difficulty breathing as you are lying down, it could be an indication that you have a serious underlying medical condition.

There are certain anxiety disorders, lifestyle factors, and diseases, which may contribute to breathing difficulties. However, you should note that this condition is not always categorized as a medical emergency, but there is a need to make sure that any breathing difficulties experienced while lying down are reported to the doctor as soon as possible.

Some of the factors that can lead to breathing difficulties while lying down include:

  1. Sleep apnea
  2. Panic disorders
  3. Respiratory infections
  4. COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  5. Snoring

Wheezing cough when lying down on back

According to NHA, (New Health Advisor), wheezing is one of the primary reasons why many people visit hospitals and medical centers. Generally, it is known that there are very many factors, which can make a person to start wheezing all of a sudden, and even though there is normally no cause for concern, wheezing when you are in certain positions e.g. when lying down on your back is certainly a cause for concern, as it may indicate that there is a serious underlying issue.

You will find that most doctors will be interested in figuring out why the wheezing occurs when lying down, before they can prescribe any kind of treatment to you. Often, you will find that this type of wheezing is attributed to conditions such as:

  1. Asthma
  2. Breathing in dry air
  3. Acid reflux
  4. Iron deficiency
  5. Sinusitis
  6. Heart issues
  7. Medication side effects

It is recommended that you visit your doctor for a consultation if the nightmare wheezing goes on for more than seven days. The physician should be able to identify what is causing this problem, before issuing you with the right medication. In addition to length, there are certain symptoms, which may accompany the wheezing sound when lying down. They include:

  1. Unintentional weight loss
  2. Violent coughing fits
  3. Abdominal swelling
  4. Shortness of breath
  5. Fever

How to Cure Wheezing

How to stop wheezing when lying down?

As mentioned at the beginning of this article, wheezing is a high-pitched, whistle like sound, which is produced anytime you breathe through obstructed or narrow respiratory air passageways. You can clearly hear this sound when you are exhaling. Because of this obstructed airways, it can become very difficult for you to breathe, and you may also experience a tight feeling in your chest. In addition, you may experience a feeling of giddiness, in addition to lacking energy, because of the reduced oxygen levels in your body.

How to Stop Wheezing Instantly at Home – Video

In itself, wheezing is not considered to be a health problem. Actually, it is a symptom, which is seen with many other health conditions e.g. COPD, asthma, pulmonary edema, dysfunction of your vocal cords, as well as acute bronchitis. For people who have been suffering from wheezing for a long time, you will find that this condition can quickly and easily affect the quality of their lives, and this may affect their sleeping patterns, which would make them feel tired and irritated at all times. The good news for people suffering from wheezing is that this problem can be eliminated by using remedies available at home. Some of the recommended home remedies include:

Steam therapy

If looking for a quick relief from wheezing, you will find that steam therapy works faster than all the other home remedies combined. Steam therapy is considered to be an excellent remedy in that it assists in reducing any obstruction that could be present in your airways, by ensuring that it eliminates the thick mucus and phlegm. To help the therapy work more efficiently, consider infusing it with an essential oil.

What to do at home

  1. Take a large bowl and fill it with hot water
  2. Choose your preferred essential oil e.g. eucalyptus or peppermint oil and add in a few drops of this oil to the hot water
  3. When leaning over this bowl, you will need to make sure that you wrap a clean towel over your head to ensure that the steam will not escape
  4. Ensure you inhale the steam through the mouth and nose for about fifteen minutes
  5. Repeat as many times as needed

Hot shower

Taking a hot shower, just like steam therapy will make breathing more comfortable, and will assist in stopping the wheezing sounds. The warmth that comes from taking a hot shower will assist in relaxing your tense airways, in addition to making it possible for the moisture to assist in thinning any mucus that could be clogging the airways.

What to do at home

  1. Close the bathroom door and run the hot shower in order to create an atmosphere similar to the one present in a sauna
  2. Make sure to stand in your shower for between five and ten minutes
  3. Repeat this process at least three times each day

Alternatively, you could also apply a warm compress on your throat and nose, which will keep your nasal passages clear and free from any types of obstructions.

Warm fluids

It is always important to keep your body properly hydrated, no matter what. If you are wheezing, taking warm drinks on a regular basis helps in hydrating your body, in addition to soothing the airways that are already stressed. This will go a long way in making it easier for you to breathe in much more easily. Warm fluids also come in handy in assisting you to loosen the sticky mucus that is present in your airways and in your throat.

What to do at home

  1. The best option will to consume warm water that has been combined with a small amount of lemon juice
  2. Additionally, taking herbal teas such as licorice root tea, chamomile and ginger have also been known to help
  3. You can also take a hot cup of soup. If you go for this option, make sure to stick to broth based soups, and to stay away from the creamy soups
  4. Taking between two and three cups of hot coffee can also be beneficial

Apple cider vinegar

ACV is a very popular home remedy. For people who opt to use apple cider vinegar to deal with the wheezing problem, they are advised to make sure that they only use quality organic apple vinegar if they hope to get optimal results. It assists your body to function at an optimal level, by assisting it balance its pH levels as well as in flushing out any toxins that could be present. It also comes with vital nutrients known to support the health of the human respiratory system.

What to do at home

  1. Mix two teaspoons of ran and unfiltered ACV with a single glass of hot water
  2. Measure a single teaspoon of raw honey and thoroughly mix it with the water and ACV solution
  3. Consume the tonic two times each day




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