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Bronchiolitis develops when small airways in the lungs become injured or inflamed. The easy passage of air is blocked, which may cause shortness of breath and cough. It's most often caused by viral infections and is common among young children.

Learn About Bronchiolitis

Bronchioles are small airways that connect your small breathing tubes (airways, or bronchi) to tiny air sacs of the lung. When these small airways are injured or inflamed, it is called bronchiolitis.

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Bronchiolitis Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors

The most common cause of bronchiolitis is viral respiratory infections, such as cold viruses and influenza. Other risk factors include inhaling irritants and medical conditions where injury to the small airways may occur. Shortness of breath and coughing are most common symptoms of bronchiolitis.

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Diagnosing and Treating Bronchiolitis

To diagnose bronchiolitis, it is usually important to rule out other medical problems and to determine the type of bronchiolitis. The most common treatments for bronchiolitis are usually prescription medications to help control specific symptoms.

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Living With Bronchiolitis

Most people with bronchiolitis lead productive lives without significant problems, as it may either go away by itself, by avoiding harmful exposures, or with medication.

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Questions and Answers about Bronchiolitis

See answers to common questions about bronchiolitis.

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This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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