Wheezing is a common symptom of various respiratory disorders that cause tightening in the throat. There are several ways a person can stop their wheezing at home without using an inhaler, but these will depend on the cause. Wheezing happens when the airways are tightened, blocked, or inflamed, making a person's breathing sound like whistling or squeaking. Common causes include a cold, asthma, allergies, or more serious conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The following home treatments for wheezing aim to open up the airways, reduce the irritants or pollution that a person breathes in, or treat the underlying causes of the wheezing.
Effective home remedies for wheezing include:
Inhaling warm, moisture-rich air can be very effective for clearing the sinuses and opening up the airways. To do this, a person can use the following method:
- Pour hot water into a large bowl and breathe in the steam.
- Place a towel over the head to trap extra moisture.
- Add a few drops of menthol or eucalyptus oil to the water to make the stream more powerful.
Peppermint essential oil may have pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects. Research from 2013 suggests that it may relax the muscles of the respiratory system, which could help to relieve wheezing and other respiratory problems.
If a steam bath does not appeal to you, a sauna room or hot shower can also help loosen congestion. Gently tapping on the back or chest and breathing deeply can help the steam work even better.
Warm and hot drinks can help to loosen up the airways and relieve congestion.
Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial, so adding a teaspoon of honey to a hot drink may further improve a person's symptoms. Some people find that peppermint or other menthol teas work well. A person can try experimenting with different teas to find one that helps.
Breathing exercises may help with COPD, bronchitis, allergies, and other common causes of wheezing. Breathing exercises often include deep, regular inhalations and exhalations. A doctor or respiratory therapist can help with deciding the most effective breathing techniques.
A person may find that they have trouble breathing during a panic attack. Deep breathing exercises can also assist here. It may help to try slow breathing, focusing on breathing deeply into the stomach, and counting breathes.
A humidifier may help to reduce wheezing. During the dry winter months, wheezing often gets worse. A humidifier in the bedroom can help loosen congestion and reduce the severity of wheezing. A person can add peppermint or other oils to the water in the humidifier, though they should check the humidifier's instructions before adding anything other than water.
Many conditions that cause wheezing can get worse when the air is polluted or in response to allergens. A home air filter can reduce the presence of irritants that may trigger wheezing and breathing trouble.
Identifying and removing triggers
Chronic illnesses such as asthma and allergies may get worse in response to certain triggers, such as stress or allergens. Controlling these triggers, as much as possible, can help.
For instance, a person with a chronic respiratory condition who also has allergies might take allergy medication and avoid allergy triggers.
People with allergies can benefit from a wide variety of allergy medications, including decongestants, corticosteroid tablets, and antihistamines.
Nasal sprays may be especially helpful to relieve a tight chest, congestion, and inflammation that can cause wheezing.
More severe allergies may require prescription allergy medication.
Immunotherapy is a process of retraining the immune system not to react to allergens.
The most common form of immunotherapy is allergy shots. A person may need several treatments, but over time, immunotherapy can reduce the frequency of wheezing. Immunotherapy may also be helpful for people with other chronic conditions, such as COPD, who also have allergies.
Bronchodilators are medications that help relax the lungs and prevent the airways from narrowing. They can help with wheezing caused by COPD and asthma.
Bronchodilators come in two forms:
Short-acting bronchodilators: Sometimes known as rescue inhalers, these can stop an asthma or COPD attack.
Long-acting bronchodilators: This variety helps relax the airways over the long-term, reducing the frequency and severity of wheezing episodes.
A wide variety of medications can treat wheezing that is due to underlying illness. A person who experiences wheezing due to a severe allergic reaction, for instance, may require epinephrine or corticosteroids.
People with heart health issues may take blood pressure medication or blood thinners to prevent further damage to the heart.
It is vital to discuss with a doctor whether medication might help, and how various medications may interact with one another.
Courtesy: Medical News Today