Treatment for bronchiolitis
Bronchiolitis is a lung infection in young children and infants which causes the congestion of the small airways or bronchioles of the lungs. It is caused by a virus and the peak time for acquiring bronchiolitis is during the winter months.
Bronchiolitis has symptoms similar to common cold and leads to coughing, wheezing and sometimes there is difficulty in breathing. Symptoms of bronchiolitis can last for several days to weeks and even for months. You can manage the symptoms by enrolling in a first aid course today.
Symptoms of bronchiolitis are similar to common colds which includes the following:
- A stuffy and runny nose
- There is cough and sometimes slight fever
- There is breathing difficulty and whistling noise when breathing out
- An infant can develop otitis media which is an ear infection
- If there is lethargy, vomiting, breathing very fast which is more than 60 breaths per minute and the skin turns blue especially the lips and fingernails, the affected child or infant refuses to drink fluids or breathing too fast to eat or drink, very loud wheezing sound and the ribs seems to suck inward when babies inhales, it is best to seek medical help.
Causes of bronchiolitis
A virus known as respiratory syncytial virus or RSV causes bronchiolitis in babies and other viruses that cause flu and common cold can also cause bronchiolitis. When the syncytial virus mixes with other infections, it can cause a severe condition.
Outbreaks of bronchiolitis happen every winter season and it is a very contagious condition. One gets the virus through droplets in the air such as coughing, sneezing or talking and also by touching shared objects like utensils, towels or toys as well as the eyes, nose or mouth.
Some factors that puts a child or infant at high risk of acquiring bronchiolitis include babies not breastfed since being breastfed provides the child with immune benefits from the mother, a premature baby, a child or infant with heart or lung conditions, a child living in a crowded environment, a depressed immune system and a child that is exposed to tobacco smoke.
Bronchiolitis can also cause some complications such as a condition where the skin turns blue or ashen especially the lips because of lack of oxygen known as cyanosis. A severe case of bronchiolitis can cause apnea among infants which is a temporary stopping of breathing.
Treatment and home remedies
- Have a cool-mist humidifier or vaporizer in order to moisten the air and help minimize congestion and coughing. Just make sure to keep the humidifier clean in order to prevent the growth of bacteria and molds.
- Keep the child in upright position in order to make breathing easier
- In order to prevent dehydration, give the child plenty of fluids such as water, juice and gelatin water. The child should drink slowly due to the congestion.
- Use a saline nose drop in order to minimize congestion. All you have to do is to fill a few drops into the nostrils. Do not push the bulb too far in, then repeat the process in the other nostril.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen in order to relieve a sore throat.
- Maintain an environment which is free from smoke for the child or infant.