Wheezing, a high-pitched whistling sound, is produced when you breathe through narrowed or obstructed respiratory airways. This sound is heard clearly when you exhale.
Due to the obstructed airways, breathing can become difficult and you can also have a feeling of tightness in the chest. Additionally, it can cause a feeling of giddiness as well as lack of energy, due to reduced oxygen in the body.
Wheezing is not a health problem in itself. In fact, it is a symptom that can occur with many health conditions, including acute bronchitis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pulmonary edema (a buildup of fluid in the air sacs of the lungs), tracheobronchitis (inflammation of the windpipe and bronchi) and dysfunction of the vocal cords, to name a few.
If you suffer from wheezing for a long time, it can get worse and degrade your quality of life by affecting your sleep and making you feel tired and irritated. It is important to get the problem solved as quickly as possible.
The high-pitched whistling sound when exhaling can be alleviated with simple home remedies. But for the treatment to be successful, it is essential to find out the underlying cause and treat it.
Here are the top 10 ways to stop wheezing quickly.
1. Steam Therapy
For quick relief from wheezing, nothing works faster than steam inhalation.
Steam inhalation is an excellent remedy because it reduces obstruction in the airways by helping you get rid of thick phlegm and mucus.
Infusing the steam with essential oil will make this therapy work even better.
- Fill a large bowl with boiling water.
- Add a few drops of any essential oil of your choice (for instance, peppermint or eucalyptus oil).
- As you lean over the bowl, drape a towel over your head to trap the steam.
- Inhale the steam through your nose and mouth for at least 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat as needed.
2. Hot Shower
Just like steam therapy, taking a hot shower can make your breathing more comfortable and stop the wheezing.
The warmth of a hot shower relaxes tense airways and the moisture thins the mucus clogging them.
- Run a hot shower with the bathroom door closed to create a sauna-like atmosphere.
- Stand in the shower for 5 to 10 minutes, keeping the door closed.
- Do it 2 or 3 times a day.
You can also apply a warm compress to the nose and throat keep the nasal passages open and clear of obstruction.
3. Warm Fluids
No matter what, it is important to keep your body hydrated. When it comes to wheezing, drinking warm fluids will hydrate your body as well as soothe stressed airways to help you breathe without difficulty.
Warm fluids can also loosen up sticky mucus in your throat and airways.
- Drinking warm water with a little bit of lemon juice is the best option.
- Drinking herbal teas, such as ginger, chamomile or licorice root tea, will also help.
- Having hot soup is another good choice. Stick with broth-based soups and avoid creamy soups.
- Just 2 or 3 cups of coffee can also offer some benefit.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Another popular home treatment is apple cider vinegar. However, it is important to use good quality organic apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ to get the best results.
This tonic helps the body function more optimally by balancing the pH level in the body and flushing out toxins. It also has important nutrients that help support the respiratory system.
- Mix 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water.
- Add 1 tablespoon of raw honey to it and mix thoroughly.
- Drink this tonic twice daily.
Ginger is one of the best home treatments for wheezing. It has anti-inflammatory properties that aid in inhibiting contraction and easing inflammation in the airways. It also works as a muscle relaxant to ease chest tightness.
In addition, ginger is an immune-booster.
- Drink 2 to 3 cups of warm ginger tea daily. To make the tea, add 1 tablespoon of ginger slices to a cup of boiling water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes, then strain it. Drink the tea while it is still warm.
- Alternatively, mix ginger juice, honey and pomegranate juice in equal amounts. Consume 1 tablespoon of this concoction 3 or 4 times daily.
Garlic is another effective remedy for stopping wheezing. It is even beneficial for treating asthma and coughing.
This antioxidant-rich herb helps neutralize free radicals and reduces the contraction of the airways to help you breathe properly. It also reduces histamine release in the body, which in turn prevents asthma attacks.
- Crush 3 to 4 cloves of garlic and boil them in 1 cup of water or milk. Allow it to cool before drinking it. Drink this 2 or 3 times a day.
- Alternatively, have a garlic clove along with 1 teaspoon of honey, 2 times a day.
- You can also take garlic supplements, but only after consulting your doctor.