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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Medical Symptoms > Noisy Breathing in Children
      Category : Health Centers > Respiratory System (Lungs and Breathing)

Noisy Breathing in Children

Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

Noisy breathing in children is a common condition, usually caused by a blockage in the air passages.

What is going on in the body?

Noisy breathing is generally caused when a blockage somewhere in the breathing passages creates abnormal airflow. The blockage can be anywhere from the mouth to deep inside the lungs. Noisy breathing may be harmless or a life-threatening condition.

What are the causes and risks of the condition?

There are many causes of noisy breathing in children. Some of the possibilities are these:

  • small objects into the mouth that are accidentally be inhaled into the windpipe
  • a structural defect such as a deviated nasal septum, which divides the two nostrils unequally
  • respiratory infections, such as croup, influenza, pertussis, epiglottitis, pneumonia, RSV infection, bronchiolitis, and the common cold.
  • metabolic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis, an inherited condition that affects the lungs
  • asthma, which results in reversible narrowing of the airways
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease, which occurs when stomach contents and acid flow backward all the way up into the throat and mouth and affect breathing.
  • sleep apnea, a condition that results in a blockage of the airway in the throat during sleep
  • tumors or cancer that partially or fully block the airways
  • nervous system problems or damage that affect the ability to breathe, such as cerebral palsy
  • paralysis of a vocal cord
  • heart conditions, such as congestive heart failure that can cause fluid to collect in the lungs
  • Other causes are also possible.


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    Noisy Breathing in Children: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: Adam Brochert, MD
    Reviewer: Melissa Sanders, PharmD
    Date Reviewed: 07/27/01

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