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.
The most common symptoms of bronchiectasis include:
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.
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:
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:
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)