Home Lung and airwaysRespiratory problems Why do I make noise when I breathe

Why do I make noise when I breathe

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Who has not been in class and could not stop listening to the breathing of a classmate? We all know someone who makes noise when breathing; we can even be ourselves. We all make noises when we live, whether we hear them or not, but when we listen to them, it can be a source of annoyance, if not of concern.

Suppose you wonder why I make noise when I breathe in the following FastlyHealarticle. In that case, we will explain everything you need to know about respiratory sounds, their causes, possible complications, and when you should visit the doctor.

Types of breath sounds

Lung noises result from the functioning of the respiratory system; therefore, depending on where they originate and the type of sound produced, we can know many things about the body.

Listening to respiratory sounds is one of the usual practices of doctors in the first contact with the patient; auscultation, the technique by which it is heard, is done with an instrument called a stethoscope, moving it throughout the chest area, listening carefully to the sounds of our body.

The noises that the doctor can hear during auscultation can be divided into three main categories: normal noises, those of the proper functioning of the body, the absence of noise, or abnormal noises, caused by some condition. We will explain that distinction in more depth below:

The absence of noise can be a symptom of:

  • Air or fluid is installed around the lungs; this condition can occur due to pneumonia, pleural effusion, or heart failure.
  • The thickness of the chest wall has increased.
  • Excessive insufflation of part of the lungs is usually due to emphysema.
  • Because not enough air reaches some parts of the lung.

The typical sounds can be heard in a healthy person and have different natures and characteristics depending on the area that auscultates. Then you explain them :

  • In the trachea, the typical sound, called the tracheal sound, is heard during inspiration and expiration, with a short pause between these two actions and manifests as a noise of high intensity and frequency.
  • At the base of the thorax, the lung murmur can be heard on the side, which, unlike the tracheal, is of low intensity and frequency. You can hardly hear a pause phase between the inhalation and exhalation actions.
  • The tracheobronchial noise has a mix of characteristics between the two.

Abnormal noises


These are little intense noises of short duration and discontinuous, but that occur continuously. When the small airways collapse, the pressure increases in the alveoli. Still, when they finally open, the air coming in abruptly makes the lung tissue vibrate and causes that peculiar sound.

This noise has been defined in many different ways, but perhaps one of the most accurate is the comparison with the noise produced by the flame of a candle when an airflow hits it without being extinguished by it.

Although these noises are usually observed in diseases that cause pulmonary exudate and obstruction, they can also occur in a priori healthy individuals whose airways have lost elasticity.

Fortes pleural

These noises, which are discontinuous, resemble the noise produced by rubbing two pieces of leather, something that is caused by inflammation of the pleural surface.

Wheezing and rhonchi

They are two different noises, but they can be included within the same category. Both are continuous; while the first is acute, the second is severe and is produced by obstructing the pathways through which the air must pass. When closing to the passage of air, it has the same effect as in children’s toys, causing a high-pitched noise similar to a whistle.

The more obstructed the pathways are, the louder the noise. This is generally in the decubitus position since, in this position, the diameter through which the air must flow is further reduced, which is why it is usually more common to listen at night in bed.

It is pretty standard that, when this condition occurs, the affected person hears the sounds produced himself, defining them as snoring or whistling.

Noisy breathing

In normal conditions, the respiratory sounds of someone breathing normally, at rest, and without being altered is not usually heard unless you get very close to listening to it. When this happens, a bronchial obstruction increases the intensity and volume of the noises, which causes them to be heard even at a distance.


The phenomenon of corning is quite similar to that which causes noisy breathing. Still, in this case, the obstruction does not occur in the bronchi but in the upper airways, the trachea, or the larynx, which produces a high noise frequency that resembles the human voice.

Nasal noise

The obstruction of the nose, whether due to inflammation of the mucosa, the deviation of the septum, or any other condition, can cause an increase in volume in the sound of breathing caused by the difficulty of the air to pass a narrow hole.

Why do I make noise when I breathe

Many diseases can cause abnormal breath sounds, so a medical diagnosis is necessary to be able to specify it. Among the conditions that can develop these symptoms are:

  • Acute bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Emphysema
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Airway obstruction by a foreign body
  • Pneumonia
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Traqueobronquitis

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why do I make noise when I breathe , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .

You may also like

Leave a Comment