What causes wheezing in toddlers? Wheezing is a harsh, raspy sound normally associated with narrowing of the airway and heard on breathing out. Young children can develop the symptom of wheezing if they suffer from asthma, a respiratory infection causing blockage or narrowing of the airways or structural abnormalities in the airways.
If your child also suffers from eczema and allergies then the most likely cause of wheezing is asthma. This is a condition that causes the airways to react to certain triggers such as pollen, dust mites and even cold air. The constriction of the airways is caused both by inflammation and excessive mucus production.
Wheezing in toddlers can be very alarming for parents who have never heard or experienced it before. Often the wheezing starts off as a cough (usually at night for asthma sufferers) and then progresses to a wheeze. This can then set off a full-blown asthma attack in some children.
It is very important to identify the triggers that cause wheezing in your child and remove them. For example, if your child tends to start wheezing at night whilst asleep in bed, there may be an allergy to dust mites. Regular vacuuming will help reduce wheezing and allergic reactions. Also, look out for any soft toys that may be harbouring dust mites and collecting dust. These should be removed from the room your child is sleeping in.
Current treatment of wheezing in toddlers involves the use of bronchodilators to open up the airways and steroids to reduce inflammation. However, these methods do not always work very effectively. One of the main causes of wheezing is associated with tightness of the breathing muscles namely the diaphragm and the muscles surrounding the chest. Drugs and medication do very little to relax these muscles and they gradually become more and more tense. Read the rest of this entry »