Bronchiolitis is a common lung infection in infants and children. Inflammations and congestion in the bronchioles (small airways) mark the presence of bronchiolitis. This disease usually occurs during the winters. It is mostly caused by a virus.
The initial symptoms are quite similar to a common cold, but it causes wheezing, coughing, and difficulty in breathing as the disease progresses. These symptoms last from days to even weeks.
In the initial days of the onset of bronchiolitis, the signs and symptoms are the same as a cold. The initial symptoms include
These initial symptoms are followed by a few days of wheezing (whistling sound while breathing), cough and a sometimes slight difficulty in breathing.
Bronchiolitis develops when a virus infects the bronchioles, the smallest airways in the lungs. The bronchioles expand and become inflamed as a result of the infection. Mucus accumulates in these airways, making it harder for air to pass easily into and out of the lungs.
The respiratory syncytial virus causes the majority of bronchiolitis cases (RSV). RSV is a common virus that affects almost every kid by the age of two. Every year, there are outbreaks of RSV infection, and people may get sick again since prior illness does not seem to produce long-term protection. Other viruses, such as those that cause the flu or the common cold, may also cause bronchiolitis.
Bronchiolitis viruses are readily transmitted. You may get them through droplets in the air when someone is ill, coughs, sneezes or speaks. You may also acquire them by touching everyday items like cutlery, towels, or toys and then touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Bronchiolitis is most common in children under the age of two. Infants under three months of age are most vulnerable to bronchiolitis because their lungs and immune systems have not yet completely matured. Other factors that are linked with an increased risk of bronchiolitis in infants and with more severe cases include:
Bronchiolitis can be prevented by taking the following measures.