Bronchiolitis usually improves on its own, without specific treatment, but very occasionally it may progress to more severe illness that may need hospitalisation and oxygen therapy.
There is currently no proven treatment for bronchiolitis in children, except for the use of oxygen therapy in those with severe infections.
There is no scientific evidence to support the use of antibiotics (which do not affect viruses); nebulised medications such as bronchodilators (e.g. inhalers containing ipratropium bromide or salbutamol) or inhaled corticosteroids (e.g. inhalers containing budesonide or fluticasone); oral corticosteroids; or Montelukast (Singulaire®).
In some cases, children may develop a secondary bacterial infection, in which case antibiotics may be needed.