Parkview Health Logo

Reactive Airway Disease

What is reactive airway disease?

Reactive airway disease is a breathing problem that appears as wheezing, a whistling noise in your airways. It may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, allergies, tobacco smoke, or something else in the environment. When you are around these triggers, your body releases chemicals that make the airways get tight.

Reactive airway disease is a lot like asthma. Both can cause wheezing. But asthma is ongoing, while reactive airway disease may occur only now and then. Tests can be done to tell whether you have asthma. You may take the same medicines used to treat asthma. Good home care and follow-up care with your doctor can help you recover.