Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Bronchiolitis
Bronchiolitis is an inflammation of the small air passages (bronchioles), usually caused by a virus (respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is one such virus).
Bronchiolitis affects infants. It is the leading cause of serious lower respiratory illness.
Symptoms of bronchiolitis include labored, rapid breathing with wheezing and a cough that sounds "tight." If the infection becomes severe, the infant's breathing rate may increase noticeably.
If severe difficulty breathing occurs, immediate medical attention is needed.
Current as of: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Susan C. Kim MD - Pediatrics & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & John Pope MD - Pediatrics
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.