Bronchitis is a respiratory disorder in which the air passages (bronchi) that connect the windpipe with the lungs get inflamed. The inflammation, resulting due to an infection (viral or bacterial) disrupts normal airflow within the lungs. Infants who are between 6 months and 2 years old are at risk of developing bronchitis, especially in the months of winter. It is observed that when common cold in infants is not treated properly, it can lead to bronchitis.
Types of Infant Bronchitis
Bronchitis in infants can be either acute or chronic; In acute bronchitis, the onset of infection is sudden. Although, this is a severe form of bronchitis, the infection lasts for a short while. On the other hand, in chronic bronchitis, the infection gradually invades the airways, which lasts for a long time.
Breathing Trouble: Apart from nasal congestion or runny nose, inflammation of the airways interferes with the infant's ability to breathe properly. Difficulty in breathing is the most common symptom of infant bronchitis. The infection causes shortness of breath and is accompanied by wheezing sound while breathing.
Excessive Coughing: The infant experiences frequent bouts of coughing. The recurring stubborn cough, also negatively affects the voice. The cough is the body's response to accumulated mucus in the lungs or the chest. The voice becomes hoarse and the body tries to get rid of mucus buildup through coughing.
Chest Pain: Tightness in chest during the course of infection, can make the child quite uncomfortable. Incessant coughing is primarily responsible for chest pain
High Body Temperature: This respiratory problem can also bring fever. In addition to raised body temperature, the infant may also suffer from headache and overall weakness.
The doctor will decide the treatment plan depending upon the type of infection responsible for causing infant bronchitis. In case of a bacterial infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics to relieve the symptoms. However, as a viral infection cannot be treated with antibiotics, the best option would be to take certain precautions to ease the symptoms.
Make sure that the room is well ventilated. Installing humidifier will also help as the device keep the air humid and moist. Thus, breathing moist air into the inflamed lungs can provide a substantial amount of relief. Feeding the infant with plenty of fluids can help to loosen up the mucus, thus making it easier to eliminate through coughing. Using saline drop after consultation with a doctor is also helpful to relieve chest congestion. To strengthen the immune system of the baby, so as to combat infection effectively giving breast milk is recommended.
Keep in mind that the bronchitis is a serious respiratory disorder and so urgent medical treatment is essential to keep the infant's health under control and avert further complications such as pneumonia or respiratory failure.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.