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.
Medications for the treatment of bronchiectasis
Different types of medications may be used to treat bronchiectasis. Examples include:
- Antibiotics to treat infections
- Bronchodilators (administered by a nebulizer or metered dose inhaler) to improve airway patency
- Expectorants to relieve congestion
Respiratory therapy for the treatment of bronchiectasis
Respiratory therapy may be used to treat bronchiectasis. Examples include:
- Breathing techniques, such as forced expiration technique and active cycle breathing, to help move fluid in the lungs
- Chest physical therapy (CPT) to loosen mucus in the lungs
- Coughing techniques to help move fluid in the lungs
- Hydration to keep mucus thin
- Oxygen therapy to increase blood oxygen levels, if they are low
- Postural drainage, or lying in a position with your head down, to help drain fluid from the lungs
- Using an incentive spirometer (medical device) to improve lung function
What are the potential complications of bronchiectasis?
Complications of untreated or poorly controlled bronchiectasis can be serious, even life threatening in some cases. You can help minimize your risk of serious complications by following the treatment plan you and your health care professional design specifically for you. Complications of bronchiectasis include:
- Heart failure
- Permanent narrowing of breathing passages
- Respiratory failure
Bronchiectasis. PubMed Health. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001199/. Accessed June 1, 2011.
Bronchiectasis. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Diseases and Conditions Index. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/brn/brn_whatis.html. Accessed June 1, 2011.
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 bronchiectasisintroduction
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 bronchiectasissymptoms
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.... Read more about bronchiectasiscauses