Bronchiectasis What Is Bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis is a condition that occurs when the tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs get damaged, causing them to widen and become loose and scarred. These tubes are called airways.
Bronchiectasis usually results from an infection or other condition that injures the walls of your airways or prevents the airways themselves from clearing mucus. Mucus is a slimy substance that the airways produce to help remove inhaled dust, bacteria, and other small particles.
In bronchiectasis, your airways slowly lose their ability to clear out this mucus. When mucus can't be cleared, it builds up and creates an environment in which bacteria can grow. This leads to repeated, serious lung infections.
Each infection causes more damage to your airways. Over time, the airways lose their ability to move air in and out. This can make it hard for enough oxygen to reach your vital organs.
Bronchiectasis can affect just one section of one of your lungs or many sections of both lungs. It can lead to serious health problems, such as respiratory failure, a collapsed lung, and heart failure. Currently, bronchiectasis has no cure. However, with proper care, most people who have it can enjoy a good quality of life.
Early diagnosis and treatment of bronchiectasis is important. The sooner your doctor starts treating bronchiectasis and any underlying conditions, the better your chances of preventing further lung damage.