Diagnosis Through Listening

February 24, 2023 | Category:


Diagnosis through listening involves paying attention to the patient’s tone of voice, breathing patterns and taking a sniff of the patient’s breath.

The following tables show some of the conditions that may occur and what they mean.

Diagnosis through listening to the patient’s voice

Strong, loud voicePresence of yang, heat.
Feeble, broken voicePresence of yin, cold. Shows as deficient vital energy and lowered resistance.
Hoarseness or loss of voice due to recent illnessCaused by febrile factors, usually the result of external colds and heat.
Hoarseness or loss of voice due to prolonged illnessLack of energy and reduced resistance; weakness of the lungs and kidneys.
Deep coughs, clear phlegmWind-cold has attacked the lungs.
Sudden coughing, thick and yellow phlegmExcess heat in the lungs.
Phlegmy coughPresence of phlegm.

Diagnosis through listening to the patient’s breathing

Strong and heavy breathingCaused by febrile factors, excess pathogenic internal heat.
Weak, short breathsCaused by deficiency in the function of the lungs.
Breathing difficulties, wheezing soundsAsthma.
Uneven breathing or heavy sighing breathsSerious condition, with damage to the vital essence or poisoning.
Loud breathing accompanied by snoring soundsStroke patients and comatose patients suffering from liver ailments and diabetes.
Rapid breathing, exhalation brings reliefUsually seen in cases of lung infection or phlegm-retention.
Low breathing sounds, inhalation brings reliefDecline in the function of the kidney

Diagnosis Through Smell

Bad breathPoor digestion, heat in the stomach or poor oral hygiene.
Sourish breathUndigested food in one’s system.
Decaying breathStomach ulcer and sores.
Body odourCaused by pathogenic dampness-heat.
Nose emits odour, runny noseHeat in the lungs or pathogenic dampness-heat accumulated in the spleen and the stomach.

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