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A 35-year-old female asked:

i have been diagnosis w/ bronchitis i hear crackles w exhale can feel crackles w deep inhale. is this normal of bronchitis could it be pneumonia?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Tanya Russo
Pediatrics 25 years experience
Rales vs. rhonchi: Typically, rales (crackles) are an inspiratory sound heard with a stethescope as small closed airways are opened with increased airflow and are typically more common with pneumonia, effusions or congestive heart failure. Rhonchi and mucous plugs are usually expiratory, and can be 'felt' more, as with bronchitis and asthma (asthma can make the distinction difficult to make).
Dr. Laura Yauch
Specializes in Family Medicine
Could be pneumonia: Crackles and wheezing can be found with both conditions, as well as other causes including fluid overload from cardiac conditions. Please get evaluated so that you can be appropriately treated. If you are having trouble breathing seek care immediately.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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