Bronchiolitis is a common lung infection that typically appears during the winter months and affects young children and infants. It occurs when a virus blocks the flow of oxygen and infects the bronchioles, which are the smallest airways in your lungs.
In most cases, children get better when they get in touch with the best child specialist in Siliguri. Sometimes, depending on the conditions, a very small percentage of children require hospitalization.
Bronchiolitis is a disease that is easily spread and can last for several days to weeks. It starts out with symptoms similar to the common cold, and then progresses to coughing, wheezing and creates difficulty in breathing.
Common Symptoms Of Bronchiolitis
- Shortness of breath
- ear infection
- Nasal flaring
- Runny nose
- Slight fever
- Stuffy nose
- Fast breathing
- Labored breathing
- Lethargic appearance
- Refusal to eat and drink
- Bluish appearance of the skin
- Lack of oxygen in the body
- Rattling sounds heard in the lungs
During infection, the mucus collects bronchioles which make it difficult to breathe an infant or a child. If your child is younger than 12 weeks old and has difficulty eating or drinking and breathing properly, you must contact your nearby pediatric doctor to get help.
Common Causes Of Bronchiolitis
- Influenza viruses
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)
- Respiratory infections
Sometimes, it can be also caused by other viruses that cause the flu or the common cold. The viruses can also spread through the air when someone coughs sneezes and get in contact with your child by touching utensils, towels, toys, or by touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Expert always recommends, when anyone whether parents, or any other person, make sure to maintain pure hygiene by washing hands using a handwash, or use hand sanitization, change outdoor clothes and use fresh clothes before touching your baby or toddler.
Risk Factors Associated With Bronchiolitis
Infants who are younger than 3 months of age and children who are under the age of 2 years are at the greatest risk of getting bronchiolitis due to their not fully developed immune systems.
- Born prematurely
- Underlying heart condition
- Critical lung condition
- Depressed immune system
- Exposure to tobacco smoke
- Never having been breast-fed
- Contact with multiple children
- Spending time in crowded environments
Diagnosis & Treatment
During the visit, the pediatric doctor may ask you about the signs of your child's dehydration, especially when refusing to drink or eat or if vomiting. Sometimes, dehydration includes sunken eyes, skin sluggishness, dry mouth, and little or no urination.
For a better diagnosis your child needs to proceed with the following:
- Chest X-ray
- Viral testing
- Blood tests
If your baby was born prematurely, with a critical heart or lung condition along with a depressed immune system, it might be the rising signs of bronchiolitis and need serious medical attention and for that, you can consult with your best paediatric doctor in Siliguri.
No matter how severe the condition is bronchiolitis typically lasts max. for two to three weeks. In general, medications are enough to overcome the situation. But if any bacterial infections can occur like pneumonia or an ear infection along with bronchiolitis, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic for improvement.