What is the medical term for abnormally noisy inhalation that contains no tonal noise, but rather is airy and "wet" (but no crackling or popping), originating in the upper respiratory tract -- similar to the sound that occurs normally when breathing in through a runny nose, or breathing in through a saliva-filled mouth with the tongue in the position you say "eeeee" with.

From here (and other similar resources) there is:

  • Crackling: Does not fit.
  • Wheezing: Does not fit, contains tone.
  • Stridor: Does not fit, contains tone.
  • Stertor: Does not fit, contains crackling.

Those are the only breathing noise words that I know.

  • 1
    Did you try 'ronchi'? Feb 22, 2017 at 20:20
  • @anongoodnurse Huh. I'll see if I can find some examples of rhonchi to see what it sounds like, although it appears ill-defined and also seems to be connected to lower respiratory tract origins.
    – Jason C
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:41
  • The only "unofficial" word I can really think of is "hissing" as in the kind of hiss sound a cat makes.
    – Jason C
    Feb 22, 2017 at 20:46
  • 1
    No, it's an upper airway sound. It is often caused by a 'fluid' in the trachea or large airways, like mucus. Ronchi clear with coughing (in fact, physicians often ask the patient to cough, so they can then listen to the lungs without the loud, sonorous ronhci). Small airway sounds do not clear with coughing. Feb 22, 2017 at 21:45


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