Bronchiolitis is bronchiole inflammation, usually caused by a virus infection. This lung infection has it’s greatest health impact on young children, especially infants under 6 months.
To help appreciate bronchiolitis, here’s a simple lay of your lungs’ land. Your trachea is the main airway to your lungs. It branches off into a right and left bronchi, the site of bronchitis. Your bronchi branch off into progressively smaller air tubes, the smallest of which are bronchioles.
Since an infant’s bronchioles are much narrower, they’re more easily blocked. Wheezing cough and breathing difficulty are symptom outcomes of this blockage. And these bronchiolitis symptoms are generally milder in a more mature lung.
Frequently, bronchiolitis virus infection is caused by respiratory syncytial virus. Other viruses that can cause bronchiolitis include:
These viruses can cause one severe health condition for an infant.
In a couple of days, bronchiolitis can cause increased respiratory distress, with symptoms involving
- nostril flaring
- rapid heart rate
- worsening cough
- breathing difficulty
Increasingly labored breathing of severe bronchiolitis may cause:
Should any of these severe symptoms occur, your infant needs emergency health care. And bronchiolitis symptoms can worsen very quickly.
Here are some simple health treatment measures to help ease your child’s bronchiolitis symptoms:
- drink plenty of clear liquids
- use a vaporizer/humidifier in sleeping room
- keep your infant/child upright to ease congestion
- keep room warm but not overheated ~ dries out air
- older children can be taught how to blow their nose
- give children’s acetaminophen for fever & sore throat, never aspirin
- sit in steamed up bathroom during wheeze coughing & trouble breathing episodes