Bronchiectasis is a long-standing condition in which the airways of the lungs are abnormally widened, resulting to the accumulation of excess mucus. The presence of the mucus can make the lungs prone to infection.
The usual indications of the condition generally include:
- Continuous cough that typically brings up phlegm
- Shortness of breath
It is important to note that the severity of the symptoms tend to vary. Some only have a few symptoms that do not arise often while others have a variety of symptoms daily. The symptoms are likely to worsen if infection develops in the lungs.
If an individual has bronchiectasis, one or several bronchi are widened abnormally. It simply means that more mucus than normal builds up which makes the bronchi prone to infection. Once infection arises, the bronchi might be damaged in which mucus accumulates and the risk for infection is drastically increased. Over time, the cycle can lead to gradual worsening impairment to the lungs.
Management of bronchiectasis
The impairment of the lungs by bronchiectasis is permanent but treatment can help alleviate the symptoms and put a stop to the worsening damage.
The commonly used treatment options include:
- Medications to improve the flow of air inside the lungs
- Exercises and specialized devices to assist in clearing the mucus out of the lungs
- Antibiotics to manage any lung infections that might develop
In some cases, surgery is considered in rare cases where other treatment options fail to work, damage to the bronchi is limited to a small area and if the individual is in good general health.
More Information / Disclaimer
The information posted on this page on bronchiectasis is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage this respiratory condition by taking a standard first aid course with Red Deer First Aid.