What is bronchiectasis? Bronchiectasis is a lung condition that causes your bronchi to permanently widen. Your bronchi are larger airways which help carry air in and out of your lungs. Your lungs make mucus to trap and remove germs and irritants that you breathe. In bronchiectasis, your lungs cannot clear mucus as it would normally. This may lead to infections, inflammation, and scarring in your lungs and may make it difficult to breathe.

What increases my risk of bronchiectasis?

What are the signs and symptoms of bronchiectasis? The following signs and symptoms may appear over time:

How is bronchiectasis diagnosed? Your caregiver will examine you. He will listen to your lungs and heart. He will ask you about other health conditions or medicines you take. You may also have any of the following tests:

How is bronchiectasis treated?

How can I manage my symptoms? Your caregiver may show you airway clearance techniques (ACTs) that make it easier for you to cough up mucus. ACTs may help decrease your symptoms.

What are the risks of bronchiectasis? You may bleed more than expected or get an infection after lung surgery. If bronchiectasis is not treated, your airways may become filled with mucus. This may make it difficult to breathe. As more airway damage happens you may get lung conditions such as emphysema (air trapped in tiny sacs). Pressure can grow in your pulmonary artery (blood vessel) and lead to heart failure. Respiratory failure or bleeding may be life-threatening.

How can I prevent bronchiectasis from getting worse?

Where can I find more information?

When should I contact my caregiver? Contact your caregiver if:

When should I seek immediate care? Seek care immediately or call 911 if:


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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