Expiratory Wheeze Lung Sounds


Welcome to our website's expiratory wheeze page. On this page we provide a description of expiratory wheezing. We then provide an audio example of an expiratory wheeze. We also provide multiple links to the wheeze lung sound training lessons and reference pages available on this web site.


Expiratory wheeze is a continuous lung sound with a musical quality heard during expiration, although occassionally on inspiration. Wheezes are higher-pitched sounds. They are commonly caused by asthma, reactive airway disease, allergies, bronchitis, COPD, pneumonia, RSV, lung cancer, heart failure or a partial airway obstruction.

Wheezing is more common in children compared to the adult population.

Wheezing during inspiration as well as expiration indicates more severe airway narrowing or obstruction.


Listening Tips

Listen to an expiratory wheeze using the audio playback button below. Additional information and recordings are available in our lung sounds courses and reference guide.

Audio Playback

virtual auscultation of patient torso

auscultation position of patient

The patient's position is sitting.


Compare To Inspiratory Crackles

virtual auscultation of patient torso

auscultation position of patient

The patient's position is sitting.

Wheezing Lung Sounds Reference Guide

Our auscultation guide provides quick access to several types of wheezing sounds. The guide including a few listening tips and a waveform of the audio recording.
Expiratory Wheezes
Monophonic Wheezes
Polyphonic Wheezes

Quick Links to Other Breath Sounds

While we have many breath sound lessons and quick references on this website. Please use the links below.

Wheezing Lung Sounds Lessons

Two lessons on wheezing sounds are part of our Basics of Lung Sounds course. We suggest taking the full course (about 15-20 minutes), but the lesson can be used without the full course. Our intermediate lung sounds course has additional types of wheezes: expiratory, monophonic and polyphonic.

Basics of Lung Sounds

Intermediate Lung Sounds

Authors and Reviewers

Authored by Diane Wrigley, PA
Medically reviewed by Dr. Barbara Erickson, PhD, RN, CCRN.
Special thanks to Dr. Raymond Murphy, MD, PhD.
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