Crackles can only be heard with a stethoscope. They can sometimes be the result of shallow breathing but can also be a sign of more serious, but almost always treatable heart or lung disease. Should they persist after a few deep breaths, it would be appropriate for your doctor to determine the cause and institute the proper treatment. Crackles are themselves not harmful but only a sign, a warning signal, to be further investigated.
After I posted it, I went in for a spirometry test and the Dr. who performed it, answered similarly to you. He also said that crackles heard from the mouth can be from mucous in the sides of the throat, in the larynx area or at the top of the bronchial tubes. He said if mucous build up is severe, bubbling sounds can sometimes also be heard.
My concern was that crackles heard from the mouth might represent lung fibrosis but apparently these type are included in those heard only with stethescope.
Thanks again and when my spirometry results are in, I may post key results, to see if you generally feel they are normal or abnormal. I will have a Dr. report with them (by a respiratory MD) but I like to get more than one opinion when possible, especially since my regular MD is limited in the respiratory area.
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