Bronchiectasis is a little-known condition of the lungs. It occurs when the lungs’ airways become stretched and enlarged due to long-term mucus blockage. If the lungs are not able to properly clear out mucus, it will buildup overtime, potentially causing infection.
The infection and buildup of mucus together cause the inflammation that can weaken and stretch out the airways. Then, it can become a perpetual cycle with the stretched airways leading to further infection and the infection leading to further stretching of the airways.
Bronchiectasis is associated with other illnesses like primary ciliary dyskinesia, pneumonia, influenza, cystic fibrosis, and tuberculosis. Children who have inhaled a small object can also develop bronchiectasis because of the blockage and damage caused by the foreign object.
While there is no cure for bronchiectasis, it can be treated and maintained. Further damage can be prevented through proper treatment, so following physician recommendations is important.
Preventing further infections is vital because continued lung infections can lead to more serious lung infections, the development of scar tissue, respiratory failure, a collapsed lung, and even heart failure. In spite of the seriousness, however, most individuals diagnosed with bronchiectasis can live full and normal lives with proper treatment.
Information on this page is for reference and educational purposes only. For more information about bronchiectasis, talk to your doctor or primary care provider.