Causes of Decreased Breath Sounds
- Airway obstruction
- Hyperinflation (emphysema)
- Pleural Effusion (accumulation of fluid in the pleural spaces)
- Shallow Breathing
- Crackles (or Rales) - Popping or nonmusical, discontinuous sounds usually heard during inspiration.
- Pleural (friction) rubs - Loud nonmusical sounds heard both in inspiration and expiration.
- Rhonchi - low-pitched musical sounds usually heard during expiration.
- Whispered Pectoriloquy (particularly with respect to whispering)
Breath Sound Quality
- Bronchial - Typically heard over the trachea
- Bronchovesicular - Typically heard over the mainstem bronchi
- Vesicular - Typically heard over the lung
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