Bronchitis Obliterans - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Bronchitis obliterans
bronchiolitis is an inflammation that occurs in the respiratory system. This inflammation is caused by viruses that attack the smallest airway in the lungs (bronchioles). Bronchiolus has a function to control air flow in the lungs.

When the bronchiolus is infected or damaged, it may occur inflammation or blockage of the channel. This condition can prevent incoming oxygen flow. Although generally, bronchiolitis occurs more often in childhood, Bronchiolitis can also attack adults.

There are two main types of bronchiolitis:

  1. The most common viral bronchiolitis occurs at the time of the baby. Most cases of viral bronchiolitis are caused by a syncytial respiratory virus. The viral outbreak occurs every winter and attacks children under the age of 1 year.
  2. Bronchiolitis Obliterans is a rare and dangerous condition that appears in adults. The disease is caused by scarring in the bronchioles. This condition can block the airways that make obstruction of the airway and make you difficult to get enough air.

In this article will discuss more on the causes, prevention, and treatment of bronchiolitis obliterans.

Causes and risk factors for Bronchiolitis Obliterans

This rare condition sometimes occurs without any known cause. In severe cases, bronchiolitis obliterans can lead to death if not treated quickly and appropriately. Some causes have been identified and include:
  • Smoke from chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, and chlorine
  • Respiratory tract Infections
  • Negative reactions to drugs

Other chemicals that may cause bronchiolitis obliterans to include:
  • Smoke metal oxide, a common byproduct of welding
  • Formaldehyde, cancer-causing chemicals used in some adhesives and building materials
  • Nitrogen oxide
  • Hydrochloric acid
  • Sulfur mustard, a chemical weapon known as "mustard gas "

Sometimes, bronchiolitis obliterans occurs after you suffer from a serious illness affecting the lungs, such as some form of pneumonia or bronchitis. And some people who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis can also experience bronchiolitis obliterans as a side effect of the condition.

The risk factors for bronchiolitis obliterans in adults are:
  • Working conditions that make you exposed to hazardous chemicals
  • Have undergone a heart transplant, lung, or bone marrow
  • Smoking tobacco containing nicotine
  • Have an autoimmune disease

Signs and symptoms of Bronchiolitis Obliterans

Both the viral bronchiolitis and bronchiolitis obliterans have similar signs and symptoms. These signs and symptoms include:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Skin appearance bluish due to lack of oxygen
  • Sounds crackling or crackles heard in the lungs
  • Fatigue
  • Breathe Fast
  • Cough

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After exposure to certain chemicals, symptoms of bronchiolitis obliterans may appear within two weeks to a month. Lung infections can take several months to several years to cause symptoms.

How to prevent the occurrence of Bronchiolitis Obliterans

Until now it is still difficult to prevent the occurrence of bronchiolitis obliterans, but you can follow the tips below to improve your lung health:
  • Do not smoke.
  • Limit your exposure to environmental and occupational toxins.
  • If you have to work in a toxic environment, cover your mouth and nose with a mask.
  • Prevent infections by hand washing as often as possible.
  • Avoid crowds during winter and flu.
  • Get a pneumonia vaccine.
  • Get a flu vaccine.
  • Exercise regularly.

How to treat a Bronchiolitis Obliterans


There are several ways to diagnose the type of bronchiolitis obliterans. Radiological examinations, including chest X-rays, may help the doctor diagnose bronchiolitis obliterans.

A common tool used for adults is spirometry. This tool can measure how much and how fast you breathe the air in every breathing. Arterial blood gas tests for bronchiolitis obliterans can measure how much oxygen and carbon dioxide are in your blood.


There is no special medication for scarring on bronchiolitis obliterans. Corticosteroid drugs can help rid the lungs of mucus, reduce inflammation, and open the airways.

You may need treatment with oxygen and an immune system suppressant to regulate your immune system. Breathing exercises and reducing stress can help alleviate your symptoms of breathing difficulties. Sometimes pulmonary transplants may be the best choice in severe cases.

Home Remedies

Recovery from Bronchiolitis obliterans requires extra rest and increased fluid intake. Keeping the air in the house free of smoke and chemicals is also very important. Use an air humidifier to keep the air moist in your home.

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