When we talk about bronchiolitis, we immediately remember the most well-known of viral infection diseases. Very common in babies, it has symptoms very similar to that of a cold and flu and usually appear more frequently in winter and autumn.
What is Bronchiolitis?
Bronchiolitis is characterized by inflammation in the bronchioles, which due to the swelling of its structure makes it difficult for the baby to breathe. In the natural process of breathing, the air enters through the nostrils and passes through the pharynx, larynx, trachea, into the bronchi and finally reaches the bronchioles , exactly in the region where the exchange of oxygen gas with carbon dioxide occurs.
This disease is caused exactly by damage to the air tubes of the lung (bronchioles). Usually it is accompanied or not by mucus secretion, which causes obstruction or difficulty in the passage of air.
Is Bronchiolitis Contagious?
Transmission usually occurs with a cold or flu, as it is caused by the same virus. In the case of babies, it occurs more frequently with those who attend day care centers and schools or has great contact with a greater number of people.
Causes of Bronchiolitis
In addition to the colder seasons being indicated as prone to major bronchiolitis, there are some factors that can increase the possibilities if the baby is exposed, such as:
- Inhalation of dust
- Cigarette smoke
- Exhibition in public places (malls, parks)
- Respiratory infections
Bronchiolitis can also come from other viruses such as: Influenza, parainfluenza, enterovirus and even bocavirus. And if the baby has acute bronchiolitis in conjunction with any of these viruses it ends up becoming more serious and requiring immediate medical care.
For babies who are crawling, direct contact with the floor and hands in the mouth can be an aggravating factor. Make it a habit to always wash your baby’s hands and instruct older children who have contact not to touch the face, and when sneezing or coughing, protect themselves from transmitting any viruses to the baby.
As we already know, bronchiolitis has symptoms very similar to that of a flu or cold, some of them stand out for their aggravation, such as:
- Intense cough lasting more than two weeks;
- Difficulty breastfeeding;
- Decreased appetite;
- Wheezing in the chest;
Among the symptoms, the respiratory rate can be altered, tiredness and in some cases night apnea may occur.
Bronchiolitis Is It Cure?
Bronchiolitis is curable and most cases do not need clinical treatment, unless the case worsens. In some situations medical intervention is necessary for a more specific treatment.
Home treatment: If the child or baby has no respiratory distress so aggravating, the treatment can be done at home through rest, intense hydration (breast milk and water) and fever control. If you already eat solid food, the food should be divided in order to avoid nausea and weakness.
Clinical treatment: When the cases are more severe, hospitalization may be necessary for more specific care. At the hospital, it is possible to hydrate through the serum and rely on respiratory physiotherapy that will eliminate secretions from the lung more easily.
How to Prevent Bronchiolite
One of the best ways to prevent bronchiolitis is to avoid exposing your baby to risk and contamination factors. Parents should always keep their hands clean when in contact with the baby and, if possible, use antibacterial soaps or gel alcohol before contact.
There is little care and when it comes to the health of our children even more. In times of cold, keep the baby warm and away from very busy environments where the proliferation of viruses occurs. Keep your home always ventilated and your baby always hydrated.
Bronchiolitis is a very common disease to happen and in many times, even if very well taken care of the baby can acquire it, so don’t blame yourself. Prevention is important, but care when it occurs to ensure the baby’s well-being is essential.
See also: Know when the baby can go for a walk
My name is Dr. Alexis Hart I am 38 years old, I am the mother of 3 beautiful children! Different ages, different phases 16 years, 12 years and 7 years. In love with motherhood since always, I found it difficult to make my dreams come true, and also some more after I was already a mother.
Since I imagined myself as a mother, in my thoughts everything seemed to be much easier and simpler than it really was, I expected to get pregnant as soon as I wished, but it wasn’t that simple. The first pregnancy was smooth, but my daughter’s birth was very troubled. Joana was born in 2002 with a weight of 2930kg and 45cm, from a very peaceful cesarean delivery but she had already been born with congenital pneumonia due to a broken bag not treated with antibiotics even before delivery.