Bronchiolitis

Bronchiolitis is an infection that affects the lower respiratory tract, which causes swelling in the bronchioles (small airways) of the lungs, causing airway obstruction. Bronchiolitis usually affects infants, 3 to 6 months old. The pediatric pulmonologists with Norton Children’s Pulmonology, affiliated with the UofL School of Medicine, have the training and expertise to care for children with bronchiolitis.

Bronchiolitis Causes

Bronchiolitis is caused by viruses. The virus causes an upper respiratory infection that spreads to the lower respiratory tract. It causes inflammation and possibly death of the lung’s cells. This causes obstruction to airflow coming in and out of a child’s lungs. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is considered one the most common viruses that cause bronchiolitis.

Other viruses that can cause the condition include:

  • Adenovirus
  • Human metapneumovirus –– a respiratory virus that causes a cold
  • Influenza
  • Human parainfluenza viruses (HPIV)

Bronchiolitis is rarely caused by bacteria but can be caused by mycoplasma pneumoniae, often called “walking pneumonia.”

Bronchiolitis Symptoms

Bronchiolitis symptoms may include:

  • Cold symptoms, such as:
    • Congestion
    • Cough that may get progressively worse
    • Fever
    • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Breathing pattern changes:
    • High-pitched noise while breathing
    • Wheezing
    • Breathing fast or deeply
  • Loss of appetite (infants may not nurse well)
  • Irritability (personality changes; an infant may be extra fussy)
  • Vomiting

Bronchiolitis Treatment

Treatment for bronchiolitis depends on a child’s age, health and medical history, as well as how severe the condition is. Mild cases may be able to be treated at home with supportive care, such as rest, fluids and frequent suctioning of the nose and mouth with a bulb syringe.

If a child is experiencing severe breathing issues, they may need care at a hospital. Treatments may include:

  • Oxygen therapy and ventilation, as needed
  • Intravenous (IV) fluids for hydration
  • Breathing treatments as needed
Pulmonology – 4940

Norton Children’s Pulmonology

Call for More Information

(502) 588-4940

Erica Stevens, M.D., MPH forms long-term bonds with pediatric pulmonology patients

Treating children with asthma, cystic fibrosis and other respiratory conditions, Erica Stevens, M.D., MPH, gets to see her patients and their families over months and years. This ongoing relationship with patients and their families is […]

Read Full Story

What is histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis is one of the most common types of pulmonary mycosis, an endemic fungal infection that affects the lungs. The condition also is called “Ohio River Valley fever” due to its prevalence in the area, […]

Read Full Story

Encouraging results from study of cystic fibrosis drug for children ages 6 to 11

A potential new cystic fibrosis treatment for children ages 6 to 11 showed encouraging results, improving lung function. The three-drug mixture known as Trikafta (a combination of elexacaftor, ivacaftor and tezacaftor) is already approved by […]

Read Full Story

Does asthma get worse in spring?

Spring can be an exciting time, filled with warming weather, the end of school, graduation season and much more. We know it can be a tough time for children with allergies; but what about for [...]

Read Full Story

6 signs your child may have asthma

Louisville, Kentucky, is no stranger to allergies or asthma, so knowing what to look for in your child is important. Louisville routinely is ranked among the most challenging cities to live with asthma by the [...]

Read Full Story
Related Stories

Erica Stevens, M.D., MPH forms long-term bonds with pediatric pulmonology patients

Treating children with asthma, cystic fibrosis and other respiratory conditions, Erica Stevens, M.D., MPH, gets to see her patients and their families over months and years. This ongoing relationship with patients and their families is […]

Read Full Story

What is histoplasmosis?

Histoplasmosis is one of the most common types of pulmonary mycosis, an endemic fungal infection that affects the lungs. The condition also is called “Ohio River Valley fever” due to its prevalence in the area, […]

Read Full Story

Encouraging results from study of cystic fibrosis drug for children ages 6 to 11

A potential new cystic fibrosis treatment for children ages 6 to 11 showed encouraging results, improving lung function. The three-drug mixture known as Trikafta (a combination of elexacaftor, ivacaftor and tezacaftor) is already approved by […]

Read Full Story

Does asthma get worse in spring?

Spring can be an exciting time, filled with warming weather, the end of school, graduation season and much more. We know it can be a tough time for children with allergies; but what about for [...]

Read Full Story

6 signs your child may have asthma

Louisville, Kentucky, is no stranger to allergies or asthma, so knowing what to look for in your child is important. Louisville routinely is ranked among the most challenging cities to live with asthma by the [...]

Read Full Story

Search our entire site.