What are the treatments for the disease?
Treatment for bronchiolitis consists of providing warm, moist air. Parents should check with the healthcare provider about using a vaporizer or humidifier to moisten the air. A humidifier is a machine that moistens the air with a cool mist. A vaporizer is a machine that turns water into steam to moisten the air.
Young infants who have cyanosis, or bluish lips and nail beds, may need to be hospitalized. Infants who have had repeated attacks of bronchiolitis, or those who are breathing very rapidly and shallowly, may need to be hospitalized as well.
The medications used will depend on the cause and severity of the bronchiolitis.
Sometimes breathing treatments with a nebulizer are needed. Breathing treatments involve a machine that sprays out a light mist of medicine through a mask. Children who are having an extremely hard time breathing may need a ventilator, or artificial breathing machine.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Side effects vary, depending on the treatment used.
Medications, such as antibiotics, can cause stomach upset and allergic reactions.
Vaporizers can cause burns.
A child may become jittery or have a rapid heart beat from the medications used with breathing treatments.
There may be more significant side effects if a child needs to be put on a ventilator.
What happens after treatment for the disease?
After a child recovers from bronchiolitis, no further treatment is usually needed. However, this depends on how much trouble the child had breathing and what kind of treatment was given.
How is the disease monitored?
A healthcare provider may have a child return for several visits to make sure that the symptoms are improving. If a child needs to stay in the hospital, he or she will often have the level of oxygen in the blood checked frequently. Most children with bronchiolitis recover without much intervention.