Until 2014 a mainstay of management of bronchiolitis involved the administration of inhaled bronchodilators. Evaluation of several agents demonstrated a potential slight improvement of respiratory distress symptoms but no long-term benefits (for example, duration of symptoms, shortening of the need for supplemental oxygen, etc.). Because there are children who have asthma exacerbations during the bronchiolitis season, some centers will provide a single inhalation bronchodilator therapy treatment. Should a substantial improvement be demonstrated, a consideration of further similar therapy can be considered. Children who do not demonstrate such an improvement need no further inhaled bronchodilators. Chest physiotherapy has not been demonstrated to be of benefit for pulmonary symptoms and is thus not recommended.
Bronchiolitis is an inflammation of the bronchioles.