Diagnosis Through Listening

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 voice Presence of yang, heat.
Feeble, broken voice Presence of yin, cold. Shows as deficient vital energy and lowered resistance.
Hoarseness or loss of voice due to recent illness Caused by febrile factors, usually the result of external colds and heat.
Hoarseness or loss of voice due to prolonged illness Lack of energy and reduced resistance; weakness of the lungs and kidneys.
Deep coughs, clear phlegm Wind-cold has attacked the lungs.
Sudden coughing, thick and yellow phlegm Excess heat in the lungs.
Phlegmy cough Presence of phlegm.

Diagnosis through listening to the patient's breathing

Strong and heavy breathing Caused by febrile factors, excess pathogenic internal heat.
Weak, short breaths Caused by deficiency in the function of the lungs.
Breathing difficulties, wheezing sounds Asthma.
Uneven breathing or heavy sighing breaths Serious condition, with damage to the vital essence or poisoning.
Loud breathing accompanied by snoring sounds Stroke patients and comatose patients suffering from liver ailments and diabetes.
Rapid breathing, exhalation brings relief Usually seen in cases of lung infection or phlegm-retention.
Low breathing sounds, inhalation brings relief Decline in the function of the kidney

Diagnosis Through Smell

Bad breath Poor digestion, heat in the stomach or poor oral hygiene.
Sourish breath Undigested food in one's system.
Decaying breath Stomach ulcer and sores.
Body odour Caused by pathogenic dampness-heat.
Nose emits odour, runny nose Heat in the lungs or pathogenic dampness-heat accumulated in the spleen and the stomach.



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