Get Wonderful Information on Bronchiolitis

By: Alien

Bronchiolitis is inflammation of the bronchioles, the smallest air passages of the lungs. Bronchiolitis starts out with signs and symptoms similar to those of a common cold but then progresses to coughing and wheezing. However, in babies and toddlers whose bronchioles are smaller and easier to plug, these viruses often cause bronchiolitis when inhaled. The illness affects infants and young children most often because their small airways can become blocked more easily than those of older children or adults. Although it's often a mild illness, some infants are at risk for a more severe disease that requires hospitalization. Babies who attend day care are less likely to get bronchiolitis than those who stay home with a parent who smokes. Although a child's bout of bronchiolitis may be scary, particularly for parents, signs and symptoms typically last for about a week and then go away. In the meantime, you can take a number of self-help measures to make your child more comfortable.

Causes of Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is caused by a virus - in the majority of cases one called the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Symptoms of Bronchiolitis

Your child will probably have a runny nose and a slight fever for 2 to 3 days. Then your child may begin to cough, breathe fast and wheeze (make a high-pitched whistling sound when breathing) for another 2 or 3 days.

Treatment of Bronchiolitis

If a baby is very distressed, and having trouble feeding, he may need to be admitted to hospital where he can be closely observed, given oxygen and sometimes fluid through a drip (intravenous therapy).

Often the illness is mild, and does not need any special treatment.

Intravenous (IV) fluids if your child is unable to drink well .

Bronchodilating drugs are often used but efficacy not proven. If there is no clinical response after one treatment, use should be stopped.

Home Treatment

The best treatment for most kids is time to recover and plenty of fluids. Making sure a child drinks enough fluids can be a tricky task, however, because infants with bronchiolitis may not feel like drinking. They should be offered fluids in small amounts at more frequent intervals than usual.

Prevention

Most cases of bronchiolitis are not readily preventable because the viruses that cause the disorder are common in the environment. Careful attention to hand washing, especially around infants, can aid in the prevention or spread of respiratory viruses.

Family members with an upper respiratory infection should be especially careful around infants. Wash hands frequently, especially before handling the child.

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