Bronchiectasis - Causes and Symptoms
Other Names: Acquired Bronchiectasis, Congenital Bronchiectasis
Bronchiectasis is an abnormal destruction and dilation (permanent or abnormal widening) of the large airways. This injury is the beginning of a cycle in which your airways slowly lose their ability to clear out mucus. The mucus builds up and creates an environment in which bacteria can grow. This leads to repeated serious lung infections. A person may be born with it (congenital bronchiectasis) or may acquire it later in life as a result of another disorder.
Causes of Bronchiectasis
Bronchiectasis is many a times caused by recurrent inflammation or infection of the airways. It may be present at birth, but most often begins in childhood as a complication from infection or inhaling a foreign object. Prior to the widespread use of immunizations, bronchiectasis was often the result of a serious infection with either measles or whooping cough. Now, viruses that cause influenza (flu) or influenza-like syndromes, may lead to development of bronchiectasis.
Some other Causes of Bronchiectasis may be:
Symptoms of Bronchiectasis
Bronchiectasis can develop at any age and to any person. But, is most commonly seen in early childhood. Symptom severity varies widely from patient to patient and sometimes the patient may be even asymptomatic. In other people, symptoms begin gradually, usually after a respiratory infection, and tend to worsen over the years. The classic symptom, however, is a chronic cough that produces foul-smelling, mucopurulent secretions in amounts ranging from less than 10 ml/day to more than 150 ml/day. This finding is observed in more than 90% of bronchiectasis patients. There may be coughing spells - these are most common in the early morning and late in the day. Other characteristic findings include coarse crackles during inspiration over involved lobes or segments, dyspnea, sinusitis, anemia, malaise, clubbing, and other signs of infection.
Some other Symptoms of Bronchiectasis may be:
Treatment for Bronchiectasis
Treatment of bronchiectasis is aimed at controlling infections and bronchial secretions, relieving airway obstruction, and preventing complications. Some of the Treatment options are given below:
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