Symptoms and Treatment of Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis, often caused by RSV and seen more often in children and infants, can be confused at times with other problems of the lungs. Therefore, understanding the symptoms of bronchiolitis can be imperative to saving the life of someone who contracts it.

Wheezing is one of the initial signs of bronchiolitis, in addition to a wheezy cough. This condition is usually referred to by ER doctors as a “stridor.” The child will also likely be lethargic.

A child, especially an infant, who has bronchiolitis will show signs of struggling with breathing such as nostrils flaring and the muscles over the rib cage contracting visibly as the child breathes. For this reason, it is important to observe the child closely.

A fever is common with bronchiolitis as it is generally brought on by a viral infection. Two of the more serious signs are rapid breathing, indicating a lack of oxygenation, and bluish skin, an indicator of the same. Any of these symptoms are cause for alarm and the child exhibiting them should be taken in immediately for emergency treatment.

Treatment for bronchiolitis generally includes a steroid treatment to reduce inflammation and open the airways. For those children who have a viral infection and are very ill, antivirals may be utilized as well. Once bronchiolitis is properly treated, it generally clears fairly rapidly with all symptoms resolved within a week to 10 days.

Information on this page is for reference and educational purposes only. For more information about bronchiolitis, talk to your doctor or primary care provider.

About Scott Ridl: Scott joined American Medical Sales and Rentals in 2008 as a Web Manager and Content Writer. He is a writer and designer. He is extensively trained on oxygen therapy products from leading manufacturers such as Inogen, Respironics, Chart, Invacare, ResMed and more. Scott works closely with respiratory therapists and oxygen specialists to educate the community about oxygen therapy products, COPD, asthma and lung diseases. He writes weekly columns and is passionate about educating the community on oxygen therapy and respiratory issues.

Leave a Comment