Bibasilar crackles are described as crackling or bubbling sound originating from the base of the lungs. It might occur once the lungs inflate or deflate. It is generally brief and characterized by a wet or dry sound. The presence of excess fluid in the airways is the cause for these sounds.
What are the accompanying symptoms?
Depending on the root cause, bibasilar crackles might be accompanied by other symptoms such as:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling of being suffocated
- Swollen legs or feet
What are the possible causes?
Various conditions can cause the buildup of excess fluid in the lungs that can progress to bibasilar crackles.
- Pneumonia – this is an infection affecting the lungs, either one or both lungs where the air sacs are filled with pus and become inflamed. This results to difficulty breathing, coughing and crackles.
- Bronchitis – this occurs if the bronchial tubes are inflamed. It can cause bibasilar crackles, wheezing and severe cough with mucus.
- Pulmonary edema – this can cause crackling sounds in the lungs
- Interstitial lung disease
Management of bibasilar crackles
The treatment for bibasilar crackles is based on the root cause. When it comes to bronchitis and pneumonia, antibiotics are part of treatment. Viral lung infections are left to run their course, but antiviral medications might be used. For any type of lung infection, it is vital to get enough rest, proper hydration of the body and avoidance of any irritants.
In case a chronic lung condition is the cause for bibasilar crackles, lifestyle changes must be done to control the symptoms. Cessation of smoking must be done for smokers. Additionally, avoid exposure to irritants such as mold and dust.