Bronchiolitis is a common respiratory ­illness among infants. One of its symptoms is trouble breathing, which can be scary for parents and young children. Read on for more information from the American Academy of Pediatrics about bronchiolitis, its causes, signs and symptoms, how to treat it, and how to prevent it.

Bronchiolitis is an infection that causes the small breathing tubes of the lungs (bronchioles) to swell. This blocks airflow through the lungs, making it hard to breathe. It occurs most often in infants because their airways are smaller and more easily blocked than in older children. Bronchiolitis is not the same as bronchitis, which is an infection of the larger, more central airways that typically causes problems in adults.

Bronchiolitis is caused by one of several respiratory viruses such as influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), parainfluenza, and human metapneumovirus. Other viruses can also cause bronchiolitis.

Infants with RSV infection...

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