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Overview

Quite often we deal with self-limiting issues that never cause any problems with our health and resolve on their own without any further intervention.

Symptoms such as crackling or snapping noises may be heard while stretching certain parts of the body, especially the limbs, as well as some very mild pain may be experienced at times when performing some minor physical activities. There are times also when moving the body in certain ways and directions may lead to strange noises being made that sound like they are coming out of the mouth or the chest.

We shall attempt to try and explain where some of these noises come from, what causes them, and whether these issues are anything to worry about or not.

Possible causes 

One theory behind the possible reason for the noises is that the pleura (tissues lining the outside of the lungs) rub together and the sound is also louder when one opens their mouth.

This happens when the pleura become inflamed and the now swollen tissue at the top of the lungs starts rubbing against the tissue near the throat resulting in a wheezing or mild squeaking sound being emitted from the throat when one moves around. The sound gets louder when the affected individual opens their mouth thereby strengthening the suspicion for the cause of the complaint.

Causes of the inflamed pleural tissue (pleuritis) may include:

  • A viral infection such as the flu or common cold.
  • A fungal infection.
  • A bacterial infection such as pneumonia.
  • A fracture of any of the ribs.
  • Inflammation of the joints of the ribs (costochondral) or where the ribs attach to the vertebrae of the spine (costovertebral).
  • Inherited blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia.
  • Autoimmune disorders where the immune system produces antibodies that attack normal tissues of the body such as rheumatoid arthritis.
In these cases though, other associated symptoms such as pain (pleurisy), fever, coughing, shortness of breath, respiratory distress, and even cardiovascular compromise could occur which would warrant further medical intervention. If these symptoms and signs do occur then the affected individual should consult their primary medical doctor or present to an emergency room so that they can be assessed, investigated, and managed further depending on the cause of the problem. 

Non-urgent issue 

As mentioned, in most cases the causes of the sounds coming from the throat or chest are self-limiting in nature. They are rarely ever issues that cause further health-related problems and are therefore considered non-urgent issues, especially if they don't cause any other complaints.

One such condition is a mild allergy caused by exposure to allergens and triggers that cause a mild release of histamine in the bloodstream causing the body to react in certain ways such as breaking out in a skin rash, itchy hives, mild narrowing of the airways resulting in wheezing, increased mucous production by the nasal passages and airways, and inflammation of the pleura in some cases.

As the allergic reaction is managed, then so is the inflammation of the pleura and the sound emanating from the mouth and chest when moving around subsides.

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