Crackling in the lungs is indicative of a potential disease in the lungs or bronchi and can be the sole symptom or linked with other contributory respiratory causes, according to MD Health. Crackling in the lungs can be a sign of several respiratory conditions, which a medical evaluation will diagnose according to your specific symptoms.
Some of the most common causes of crackling in the lungs include pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, pulmonary edema, emphysema, a blockage and lung cancer, according to New Health Guide. Additional symptoms of pneumonia include coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Asthma causes the airways to swell and produces excess mucus. Bronchitis is the result of smoking or a respiratory infection, while pulmonary edema is caused by heart failure or severe infection. Smoking is the leading cause of emphysema and lung cancer.
Treatments for crackling in the lungs vary according to the specific condition causing the problem, according to MD Health. Antibiotics are prescribed for both pneumonia and bronchitis along with rest and fluids. The treatment for asthma includes bronchodilators or corticosteroids, as well as avoiding triggers. Supplemental oxygen provides therapeutic treatment for emphysema and lung cancer.
In addition to respiratory conditions, crackling in the lungs can result from a blockage caused by a foreign object in the air passage, as stated by MD Health. Foreign objects are removed by bronchoscopy, or by surgery in serious conditions.