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Bronchiolitis : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment


What is Bronchiolitis?

Bronchiolitis is a common lung infection in young children and infants.Bronchiolitis is an infection that causes inflammation and congestion in the small airways of the lung. Bronchiolitis is usually caused by a virus. The peak time for bronchiolitis tends to be during the winter months.

What is Bronchiolitis?

Bronchiolitis begins with symptoms that are similar to a common cold, but it can later progress to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. The symptoms of bronchiolitis can last for several days to weeks.

Some children get better at home if they are given care. A small percentage of children require hospitalization for their care.

  1. Respiratory system

Medical terms

  • Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory infection in infants that is caused by viruses, most commonly by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). It is an infection of the small airways in the lungs, called bronchioles, and is characterized by inflammation and narrowing of the airways. Bronchiolitis can cause increased mucus production, difficulty breathing, and wheezing. In severe cases, it can cause a baby to stop breathing completely for a short period of time.

  • Bronchiolitis is a lower respiratory tract infection primarily seen in infants and toddlers. It is caused by a virus, usually the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV). Bronchiolitis results in inflammation and swelling of the bronchioles, the smallest airways in the lungs. The infection can cause a build-up of mucus in the lungs, leading to difficulty breathing.

  • Bronchiolitis could be a virus infection that causes the airways (bronchioles) within the lungs to become slender, which causes respiratory trouble. It happens most frequently in youngsters beneath age a pair throughout winter and early spring. terribly seldom, adults will get bronchitis.

For instance, there's a condition known as bronchitis obliterans, that is typically referred to as “popcorn respiratory organ.” This condition is typically caused by inhaling irritating chemicals or alternative substances.

What’s the difference between bronchiolitis and bronchitis?

These 2 conditions do not solely sound similar, however they're similar in some ways. Each is caused by a deadly disease. Each has an effect on the airways within the lungs, however respiratory disease affects the larger airways (the bronchi). bronchitis affects the smaller airways (bronchioles). respiratory disease sometimes affects older youngsters and adults, whereas bronchitis is additional common in younger youngsters.

Symptoms Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis symptoms may look like a cold for the first few days.

  • Runny nose

  • Stuffy nose

  • Cough

  • Slight fever (not always present)

After doing this, there may be a week or so of difficulty breathing or when the child breathes out, they may make a whistling noise.

Infants can often have an ear infection (otitis media).

When to see a doctor

If it is difficult for your child to eat or drink and his or her breathing becomes more rapid or labored, call your child's doctor. This is especially important if your child is younger than 12 weeks old or has other risk factors for bronchiolitis, such as premature birth or asthma. If someone has a heart or lung condition, the person might have difficulty breathing.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible: -Sudden weakness or dizziness -Nausea or vomiting -Rapid heart rate -Shortness of breath

  • Audible wheezing sounds

  • Breathing rapidly — more than 60 breaths per minute — and shallowly can be signs of congestive heart failure.

  • When the infant inhales, their ribs seem to contract, causing them to breathe heavily.

  • Sluggish or lethargic appearance

  • Not drinking enough or breathing too fast can lead to not eating or drinking.

  • Blue skin color is usually a sign that someone is not getting enough oxygen. The blue skin color can also be a sign of cyanosis, which is a condition in which the blood does not have enough oxygen.

Causes Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is a viral infection that affects the small airways in your lungs. This infection makes the airways swell and become inflamed. This causes mucus to accumulate, which makes it difficult for air to flow freely in and out of the lungs.

Bronchiolitis is most commonly caused by the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).RSV is a common virus that most children will catch by the time they are 2 years old. Outbreaks of RSV infection happen every winter and some people can be reinfected even after previous infection does not seem to cause lasting symptoms. Bronchiolitis is caused by other viruses, such as the flu or common cold.

Bronchiolitis is a virus that is easily spread. You can catch it from other people when they have a cold, by coughing and sneezing, or by touching shared objects, such as utensils, towels, or toys.

Risk factors Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis typically affects children under the age of 2. Infants younger than 3 months of age are at greatest risk of getting bronchiolitis, as their lungs and immune systems are not yet fully developed.

There are other factors that are linked with an increased risk of bronchiolitis in infants and more severe cases, including: -Having a family history of bronchiolitis -Being born during winter or early spring -Having low birth weight

  • Premature birth

  • Underlying heart or lung condition

  • Depressed immune system

  • Exposure to tobacco smoke

  • Not being breast-fed can cause immune system problems.

  • Being around multiple children can be harmful.

  • Spending time in crowded environments

  • Having siblings who go to school or have child care services can lead to getting an infection.

Complications Bronchiolitis

Severe bronchiolitis may result in complications, including:

  • Cyanosis is blue skin or lips caused by not getting enough oxygen.

  • Babies who stop breathing (apnea) are more likely to do so in babies who are premature or born within the first two months of life.

  • Dehydration

  • Low oxygen levels and respiratory failure can occur when the air is too cold.

If your child experiences these symptoms, they may need to go to the hospital. Severe respiratory failure may require that a tube be inserted into the windpipe (trachea) in order to help the child breathe.

If your baby was born prematurely, has a heart or lung condition, or has a weakened immune system, be on the lookout for early signs of bronchiolitis. This infection can quickly become severe and may require your child to be hospitalized.

Prevention Bronchiolitis

Preventing bronchiolitis by washing your hands frequently and wearing a face mask when you have a cold or other respiratory illness is one of the best ways to protect yourself.

If your child has bronchiolitis, keep them at home until the illness is over to avoid spreading it to others.

There are a few common sense ways to help reduce infection, such as: -Washing your hands often and thoroughly. -Covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. -Drinking plenty of fluids.

  • Avoid people who have a fever or cold.If your child is a newborn, especially a premature one, avoid exposure to people who are sick. This is particularly important in the first two months of life.

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces.Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that people are likely to touch, such as toys and doorknobs. Make sure to do this if a family member is sick.

  • Cover coughs and sneezes.Wash your hands with soap and water. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then toss the tissue away. Finally, wash your hands with soap and water.

  • Use your own drinking glass.Do not share glasses with others, especially if someone in your family is sick. This will spread germs.

  • Wash hands often.Wash your hands often and keep a hand sanitizer at home for yourself and your child.

  • Breast-feed.Breast-fed babies are less likely to get respiratory infections.

Vaccines and medications

There are no vaccines to prevent the most common causes of bronchiolitis (RSV and rhinovirus). However, an annual flu shot is recommended for everyone older than 6 months.

Some infants who are at high risk of RSV infections, such as premature babies or those with a heart or lung condition, may be given a medication called palivizumab (Synagis) to decrease the likelihood of RSV infections.

What is the drug of choice for bronchiolitis?

To treat bronchiolitis doctors usually prescribe a combination of antibiotics and steroids Antibiotics work to control the bacteria that cause this condition while the steroids reduce inflammation in your baby's airways Doctors might also recommend additional medications such as nebulizers or breathing treatments if your baby is having difficulty breathing Nasal suctioning and chest physiotherapy may also be recommended for babies who aren't using their lungs effectively because of thick secretions.

How long does it take for bronchiolitis to clear up?

The symptoms of bronchiolitis will typically clear up in around 10 days to two weeks In most cases the baby's cough should subside within three weeks and he or she should no longer be wheezing after six weeks If your child is younger than 4 months old and has a persistent fever over 102 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius) in addition to symptoms of lower respiratory tract infection you should seek prompt medical attention from your pediatrician.

Does nebulizer help bronchiolitis?

A nebulizer is a small machine that turns liquid medication into an aerosol mist It does this by running the medicine through a tube usually connected to a face mask or mouthpiece that allows you to inhale the drug with ease Nebulizers are often used for administering medication for severe asthma attacks and other breathing problems that require regular medication administration at home.

What can I put in a nebulizer?

Nebulizers are portable battery-operated devices that use a pressurized stream of air to deliver medication to your lungs They're helpful for people who have trouble administering medication via inhaler or those with lung problems such as cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease A nebulizer can also be used to treat an asthma attack and help relieve symptoms brought on by colds and flu Your doctor will tell you which medications can be administered using this method Most medicines delivered through a nebulizer come in liquid form but some may be given as pills or in powder form All types of medication.

What are the characteristic signs of bronchiolitis?

Bronchiolitis is usually caused by a viral infection and is characterized by the following signs and symptoms: 1. Coughing that gets worse at night 2. Bronchospasms or wheezing with each breath out The wheezing can often be heard when a stethoscope is placed over the chest of an infant with bronchiolitis.

How do you get rid of bronchiolitis in adults?

What are the different types of bronchiolitis? Bronchiolitis is a viral infection of the small airways within your lungs It can cause wheezing coughing and other respiratory symptoms Bronchiolitis occurs when influenza or some other type of respiratory virus irritates your bronchioles which are the smallest airways to your lungs Although you may have heard that colds can lead to bronchiolitis this is not true—it typically occurs after an unusual exposure such as: • An airborne irritant when you don't have an active upper respiratory infection (cold).

Diagnosis Bronchiolitis

Doctors usually do not need tests or X-rays to diagnose bronchiolitis. The doctor can usually identify the problem by observing your child and listening to the lungs with a stethoscope.

If your child has a high risk of developing bronchiolitis if their symptoms are worsening or if another problem is suspected, their doctor may order tests to determine the extent of the problem. These tests may include:

  • Chest X-ray.Your doctor may request a chest x-ray to look for signs of an infection that can cause pneumonia.

  • Viral testing.Your doctor may take a sample of mucus from your child to test for the virus that is causing bronchiolitis. This is done by inserting a gentle swab into the nose.

  • Blood tests.Occasionally blood tests might be used to check your child's white blood cell count. An increase in white blood cells might indicate that your child is fighting an infection. A blood test can also determine whether the level of oxygen in your child's bloodstream has decreased.

Your doctor may ask you about signs of dehydration, such as sunken eyes, a dry mouth, and a skin that is dull or without energy, if your child is refusing to drink or eat or has been vomiting.

  1. Bronchoscopy

Treatment Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis typically lasts for two to three weeks. Most children with bronchiolitis can manage at home with supportive care. It's important to be aware of any changes in breathing difficulty, such as struggling for each breath or not being able to speak or cry because of difficulty breathing. Breathing heavily. When you breathe heavily, you make grunting noises.

Viruses cause bronchiolitis, which is an infection of the bronchioles. Antibiotics are used to treat this infection; however, they are not effective against it. Bacterial infections can also occur along with bronchiolitis, and your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for that. A cold is an infection.

Bronchodilators (drugs that open the airways) haven't been found to be routinely helpful and are not typically given for bronchiolitis. In severe cases, your doctor may elect to try a nebulized albuterol treatment to see if it helps.

Neither oral corticosteroid medications nor chest pounding have been shown to be effective treatments for bronchiolitis and are not recommended.

Hospital care

A small percentage of children may need to go to the hospital to manage their condition. At the hospital, a child may receive humidified oxygen to keep their blood oxygen levels high and they may receive fluids through a vein (intravenously) in order to prevent dehydration. In severe cases, a tube may be inserted into a vein in order to increase the flow of blood. A breathing tube is inserted into the child's trachea to help them breathe.

  1. Child medical and psychological care

Lifestyle and home remedies

Although it may not be possible to shorten the length of your child's illness, you may be able to make him more comfortable. Here are some tips to try: - Give your child plenty of fluids and rest. - Keep him warm and dry. - Provide comfort measures, such as soft toys, music, and books.

  • Humidify the air.If the room air is dry, a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer can moisten it and help ease congestion and coughing. Be sure to keep the humidifier clean to prevent the growth of bacteria and mold.

  • Keep your child upright.When you are upright, it is easier to breathe.

  • Your child should drink liquids.Make sure your child is drinking plenty of clear liquids such as water or juice. This may make them feel a bit congested, but they should drink more slowly than usual. Occasionally offer small amounts of fluid to help them stay hydrated.

  • If you have a stuffy nose, try saline drops to ease congestion.You can buy over-the-counter drops that are effective and safe for children. To use them, put several drops into one nostril and then hold the bulb of the suction device against that nostril. Repeat the process in the other nostril.

  • Consider OTC pain relievers. If your child has a fever or pain, ask your doctor about giving them over-the-counter fever and pain medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol others) or ibuprofen (Advil Motrin others). Aspirin is not recommended for children because of the risk of side effects. Reye's syndrome is a rare but potentially life-threatening condition. Children and teenagers who have recently had chickenpox or flu-like symptoms should never take aspirin, as they have a higher risk of developing Reye's syndrome.

  • Maintain a smoke-free environment.If someone has a respiratory infection, smoking can make the symptoms worse. If a family member smokes, ask them to smoke outside of the house and car.

Only use over-the-counter medicines to treat fever and pain in children younger than 6 years old. Do not use these medicines to treat coughs or colds in children younger than 12 years old.

Making sure you are prepared for your appointment.

Here are some things to know before your appointment with your family doctor or child's doctor. You may want to read this information first so that you are prepared for what to expect.

What you can do

Before your appointment, make a list of:

  • What are the symptoms your child is experiencing, and when did they start?

  • Some important personal information, like the fact that your child was born prematurely or has a health problem, will be included on the birth certificate.

  • Questions to ask your doctor

Some questions you may want to ask your doctor include the following:

  • What might be causing my child's symptoms? Are there other possible causes?

  • Does my child need any tests?

  • How long do symptoms usually last?

  • Is my child's infection contagious?

  • What is the best course of action?

  • What are some other ways to do the project you're suggesting?

  • What will the medication do to my child? Is there a generic version of this medicine that does the same thing?

  • What can I do to help my child feel better?

  • Can I download any printed materials? Do you have any websites that I can visit?

Feel free to ask me any questions during our appointment.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask questions, such as:

  • When did your child first start having symptoms?

  • What are your child's symptoms? Do they usually occur intermittently or continuously?

  • How bad are your child's symptoms?

  • What are some things that might improve your child's symptoms?

  • What if anything seems to be making your child's symptoms worse?

Your doctor will ask additional questions based on your answers and your child's symptoms. This will help you to have a better time with the doctor.

General summary

  1. Bronchiolitis is the inflammation of the bronchioles which are tiny airways that branch off from your windpipe into your lungs When you have bronchiolitis you'll experience shortness of breath a persistent cough and trouble breathing or becoming tired quickly To treat bronchiolitis at home simply breathe slowly and deeply to bring relief as your body attempts to heal itself.

Bronchiolitis : Causes-Symptoms-Diagnosis-Treatment

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