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Omron-nebulizer---what-is-bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition in which part of the airways are permanently widened and cannot clean themselves. This will lead to mucus build-up, making the lungs more vulnerable to infection.

What is bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition in which part of the airways are permanently widened and cannot clean themselves. This will lead to mucus build-up, making the lungs more vulnerable to infection.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of bronchiectasis include:

  • a chronic cough with sputum 
  • shortness of breath
  • frequent chest infections

The severity of symptoms can vary widely. Some people have only a few symptoms that don't appear often, while others have several daily symptoms.

The symptoms tend to get worse if you develop an infection in your lungs.

Causes

For up to half of people diagnosed with bronchiectasis, there’s no clear underlying cause. This is called idiopathic bronchiectasis.

In general, bronchiectasis can develop if the tissue and muscles that surround the bronchi are damaged or destroyed. There are many reasons why this may happen. The three most common causes are:

  • a lung infection during childhood, such as pneumonia or whooping cough, that damages the bronchi
  • immune system deficiencies
  • an allergic reaction to a certain type of fungi or mould

Treatment

The damage caused to the lungs by bronchiectasis is permanent, but treatment can help relieve the symptoms and stop the damage getting worse. The main treatments include:

  • exercises and mucolytics or saline solution via nebulizers to help break up the sputum
  • medication to help improve airflow within the lungs
  • antibiotics to treat any lung infections, via tablets or inhaled via a nebulizer

Reference:

Retrieved from: UK National Health Service, www.nhs.uk/conditions/bronchiectasis/ (accessed 20 December 2017) and British Lung Foundation https://www.blf.org.uk/support-for-you/bronchiectasis (accessed 20 December 2017)