What causes bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis is caused by damage to the lining of the main airways of the lungs (bronchi), usually the result of a pre-existing infection. The walls of the bronchi lose the capability to allow you to effectively cough up sputum, or mucus, leading to further congestion and damage. Cystic fibrosis is a common cause of bronchiectasis, but immune disorders, such as HIV/AIDS, can also play a role in the development of bronchiectasis.
What are the risk factors for bronchiectasis?
A number of factors increase the risk of developing bronchiectasis. Not all people with risk factors will get bronchiectasis. Risk factors for bronchiectasis include:
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (exaggerated immune response to the fungus Aspergillus)
- Ciliary dyskinesia (rare condition affecting the tiny structures that move mucus out of the airways)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Immune system disorders
Reducing your risk of bronchiectasis
You may be able to lower your risk of bronchiectasis by:
- Getting childhood vaccines against measles and whooping cough
- Getting pneumococcal and annual flu vaccines
- Practicing good hygiene to prevent the spread of infection
- Refraining from smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke
- Taking medicine as prescribed, even if you do not have symptoms
What is bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis is a respiratory disease that affects the elastic properties of the bronchial tubes, the main airways of the lungs. Bronchiectasis results in severe congestion, a decreased ability to effectively expel sputum (mucus from the lower airways), and shortness of breath.... Read more about bronchiectasis introduction
What are the symptoms of bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis causes bronchial airway damage and chronic congestion, as well as a number of other symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.... Read more about bronchiectasis symptoms
How is bronchiectasis treated?
Treatment for bronchiectasis begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. The goal of treatment is to help clear congestion and decrease infection. In severe cases that do not respond to therapy or that are accompanied by severe bleeding, your health care provider may recommend surgical resection of the affected air passages.... Read more about bronchiectasis treatments