Everything you need to know about bibasilar crackles
sing a stethoscope, a doctor can listen to the sounds of the lungs. One type of sound that can indicate a problem is called bibasilar crackles.
The sounds of the lungs can provide clues that help a doctor to diagnose an underlying condition.
In this article, learn about the conditions that cause bibasilar crackles. We also describe how a doctor diagnoses and treats them.
What are bibasilar crackles?
Bibasilar crackles are abnormal sounds from the base of the lungs. They indicate that something is interfering with airflow.
Two issues often cause bibasilar crackles. One is the accumulation of mucus or fluid in the lungs. Another is a failure of parts of the lungs to inflate properly.
The crackles themselves are not a disease, but they can be a sign of an illness or infection.
The crackles sound like brief popping when a person breathes. Some people describe the sound as similar to wood burning in a fireplace.
Bibasilar crackles are more common during inhalation, but they can occur when a person exhales.
Doctors classify the crackles as fine or coarse, depending on their volume, pitch, and duration.
For example, fine crackles are often soft and high-pitched. Coarse crackles are usually louder and low-pitched, with a wet or bubbling sound.
Bibasilar crackles may occur with additional symptoms, depending on the underlying cause. Possible accompanying symptoms include:
- trouble breathing
- swelling in the feet or lower legs