The simplest explanation of Bronchitis is that it is an inflammatory respiratory condition. The Respiratory Syncytial Virus is the primary causative agent of this infection as it is contagious and spreads rapidly from person to person.
You might have heard about the air passage in our lungs, known as the bronchus, and its smaller branches are known as bronchioles. The bronchioles help the airflow to different sections of the lungs. However, they swell or get clogged due to the virus, making it difficult for the air to pass.
When an infant suffers from Bronchitis, the bronchi or small air passage is affected, making it difficult for the oxygen to flow smoothly. If you feel that your infant is showing any symptoms of Bronchitis, go online and search using the words- ‘cough specialist near me to get it checked.
Bronchitis and its types:
The two most common types of Bronchitis in infants are-
- Acute Bronchitis
- Chronic Bronchitis
Acute Bronchitis results from a viral infection; this virus is the same one that causes flu or common colds. That is why it is common for Bronchitis to come up after an infant contracts a cold. It occurs in the winter season when one witnesses the maximum number of viral infections.
Chronic Bronchitis is a bit of a severe condition. The air passage in the lungs or the bronchi gets inflamed and irritated, and the airways are filled with mucus. In this condition, the coughing goes on for months, and the children are likely to encounter long-term illnesses that are the consequences of this condition.
Causes of Bronchitis in infants and children:
It is wisely said that preventing anything is better than finding a cure later on. As a parent, taking care of your child’s health is as essential as focusing on his needs. There is unquestionably crucial learning that you need to know and conditions that you should be aware of to protect them better, especially during the winter months. Bronchitis, if left untreated, can result in severe problems in the future.
When you visit the chest infection specialist Manchester, they will make you aware of the following causes of Bronchitis in babies and infants.
It is caused due to the RSV or Respiratory Syncytial Virus that enters the body through nasal openings, eyes, or mouth. This virus reproduces rapidly and challenges the immune system of infants. It usually affects kids below two years of age, and it can be dangerous as it is highly contagious. Most acute Bronchitis in children is viral. It usually results from:
- Viral infection during winter or the dry season
- Coming near someone who is suffering from Bronchitis
- Sharing utensils, toys, or other belongings of infected children.
It is one of the most common bacterial infections caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacterium. The child infected by this microbe might develop bacterial Bronchitis and whooping cough. Often, viral Bronchitis evolves into a bacterial one. When the virus causes excess mucus to clog the airways in the lungs, it acts as a suitable environment for such bacteria to grow and reproduce. Acute or short-term Bronchitis in children can also be bacterial.
Irritative and Chronic Bronchitis:
It is a rare condition in children. However, if these bronchitis variants infect infants, the condition generally persists for an extended period and poses higher risks of developing into pneumonia. Irritative Bronchitis is caused by:
- Exposure to irritants or allergens like dust, fumes, etc.
- Industrial smoke and chemical agents like ammonia, chlorine, organic solvents, etc.
On the other hand, a pneumonia specialist Manchester, states that Chronic Bronchitis has very different causative agents. The primary causative agent is tobacco smoke, and hence this type of Bronchitis is rarely found in children. However, exposure to tobacco smoke might induce Chronic Bronchitis in infants and children. It is caused by:
- Excessive inflammation caused by viral infections
- Exposure to tobacco smoke
- Mucociliary dysfunction.
There are many instances where Bronchitis has been followed by pneumonia. So it is always better to keep a check on your child’s health and take them for periodic check-ups. With technological advancements, it has become relatively easy for parents to book an appointment with a specialist who can diagnose their child’s condition and prescribe treatments.
For instance, if you live in or around Manchester, you can search for the best baby cough doctor in Manchester,and you will find a list of all the high-rated professionals practising there. You will only have to book a session with them to get your baby checked.
Symptoms of Bronchitis in children:
Both the conditions mentioned above- Acute and Chronic Bronchitis usually occur in children. They have the following common symptoms and signs that you need to look out for if you are the parent of an infant.
- Nasal flaring
- Crackling sounds can be heard coming from the lungs
- Shortness of breath
- Fast breathing
- Babies and children gag and vomit when they have Bronchitis
- Muscle and back pain
- Chest pain
- Children and babies experiencing mild chills and fever
- When a child inhales, the ribs seem to sink in
- The skin colour is bluish because of the lack of oxygen passing through.
If you are worried about your infant, it is imperative to visit a doctor specializing in respiratory conditions. Initiate a Google search using the keyword- ‘cough specialist near me.’The cough specialist will provide you with a clear description of what exactly might be going on if your child shows any similar symptoms.
Complications that arise due to Bronchitis
If your infant has been exposed to an adverse environment and causative agents mentioned above, they are at a greater gamble of developing Bronchitis and suffering from certain long-drawn complications.
It is essential to take care of such cases as conditions like Bronchitis, if neglected, can lead to highly complicated conditions in the future that play havoc with the child’s health. Some of the most common results of Bronchitis, if untreated, are illustrated below.
Pneumonia is a particularly dangerous condition for babies and infants as it causes casualties if not treated properly. It causes inflammation of the air sacs or alveoli in their lungs, and the child might experience a severe cough as a reflex action to get rid of the mucus that saturates their alveoli. It results from bacterial, viral, and even chronic Bronchitis.
Feel free to contact any cough specialist in Manchesterif your baby has trouble breathing and coughing constantly. They will analyze the sputum and start treatment so that the condition does not worsen further.
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder or COPD
When untreated, Bronchitis can also lead to Chronic Obstructive pulmonary disorder- a lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. A cough specialist doctor in Manchestercan make a quick medical diagnosis to comprehend the nature and extent of the disease in your child. They will conduct an X-ray diagnosis and then offer immediate medical treatment that may range from over-the-counter medications to uninterrupted bed rest.
Why are kids more prone to Bronchitis?
Acute Bronchitis affects infants, which means children up to 2 years of age are under maximum risk. Generally, this condition affects infants who are 3 to 9 months old. However, children aged 9 to 15 years of age can also encounter such a condition. Although they are not infants, the bronchitic symptoms may reach a peek at their age. Getting the required medical attention is important.
Kids generally have lungs and secondary respiratory organs that are not highly developed and mature. At times, they are unintentional victims of secondhand smoke, fumes, etc., which highly impacts their respiratory system. Apart from these factors, asthmatic children, allergy-prone, have large adenoids, or suffer from tonsillitis are also equally prone to Bronchitis.
That’s why visiting your doctor or consulting them over a call is a must, especially during the winter season, as it is the most conducive environment for the virus to spread. If you have shifted recently to the Manchester suburbs and haven’t decided on a paediatrician yet, you might want to look up a cough specialist doctor in Manchester.
Who is more likely to be at risk?
Those at high risk from acute Bronchitis are-
- Premature babies
- Babies born with a lung infection or a heart infection
- Infants younger than three months as their immune system and lungs are underdeveloped
- Babies who are never breastfed(they never received immune benefits from their mothers)
- Babies exposed to smoke or toxic fumes
- Infants and children who come in close contact with people suffering from Bronchitis
- Babies and infants who share toys or other belongings of children suffering from Bronchitis.
How can you mitigate such risk being a parent?
As a parent, you need to be careful and attentive to eliminate the risks of your child contracting Bronchitis. You can enforce the following measures:
- Make sure your child covers their nose and mouth when someone nearby is sneezing, spitting, or coughing
- Ensuring that your child frequently washes their hands
- Make sure that your child is vaccinated with all the necessary vaccines for flu
- Reach out to a doctor by Googling’ pneumonia specialist near me’ if your child coughs constantly or has trouble breathing.
Bronchitis might not be a very big deal for adults. However, it can be potentially fatal for children if unattended. Thus, as a parent, you must focus on preventive measures rather than treatments when your child has already contracted the infection. However, with technological advancements and the prowess of search engines, medical help is almost instantly available if your child’s health is at a threat.