How is bronchiolitis treated in infants?

Learn more about this disease, its causes, signs and symptoms, and steps parents can take to prevent and treat it.

Bronchiolitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the bronchioles, the small breathing tubes in the lungs, making it difficult for air to move.

This condition primarily affects babies, whose airways are smaller and more likely to become clogged than older children.

Learn how to know if your child has bronchiolitis

The cause of bronchiolitis is usually various respiratory viruses, such as influenza virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza virus, human metapneumovirus, etc. These viruses are spread through contact with secretions (such as mucous membranes or saliva) of an infected person. Transmission of bronchiolitis is common in home settings and child care centers.

Infants infected with RSV are at increased risk of developing bronchiolitis, with symptoms such as wheezing and difficulty breathing. Meanwhile, most adults and older children infected with RSV only experience cold-like symptoms.

Bronchiolitis usually starts with mild cold-like symptoms, such as runny nose, cough, and fever. However, within a day or two, the cough may get worse and the baby may start breathing faster. In severe cases, babies may have difficulty drinking water and show signs of dehydration.

Here’s How to Relieve This Common Infection

To relieve the symptoms of bronchiolitis, it is recommended to use saline nose drops to reduce nasal congestion. Alternatively, you can use a suction device to clean your baby’s nose under your doctor’s supervision.

It is important to note that there is no specific treatment for bronchiolitis caused by respiratory viruses such as RSV. Antibiotics are not effective in treating viral infections. However, your baby’s fever can be reduced by taking acetaminophen (paracetamol) at the dose recommended by your doctor.

If a baby shows signs of difficulty breathing or dehydration, immediate medical attention is crucial. Some key symptoms include flaring of the nostrils, gurgling sounds when breathing, and difficulty sucking and swallowing.

Importantly, bronchiolitis may be more severe in children with chronic medical conditions. If your child has a pre-existing medical condition and develops symptoms of bronchiolitis, be sure to contact the doctor.

It is important for parents to understand bronchiolitis, its causes, symptoms and prevention measures. When this disorder is suspected, it is always recommended to seek medical attention and follow the doctor’s instructions to treat and relieve symptoms in the affected infant.

This note was produced with the help of artificial intelligence.

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