This lung sound can be heard at the end of inspiration or early expiration and is present throughout the lung, typically, upon auscultation.
Wheezes are described as high-pitched sounds. It is often inferred that high pitched wheezes are associated with disease of the small airways and low pitch wheezes are associated with disease of larger airways.
As the airway lumen becomes smaller, the air flow velocity increases resulting in harmonic vibration of the airway wall and thus the musical tonal quality.
Wheezes are significant as they imply decreased airway lumen diameter, leading to air moving through narrowed airways. This can occur, for example, due to thickening of reactive airway walls in asthma, or collapse of airways due to pressure from surrounding pulmonary disease.
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