Bronchiectasis describes the widening (“ectasis”) of some of the airways.
It is a condition where the bronchial tubes of your lungs are permanently damaged and enlarged. These damaged air passages allow bacteria and mucus to build up in your lungs. This results in infections and blockages in the airways.
Bronchiectasis is treatable, but it cannot be cured. With treatment, you can live a normal life.
Symptoms of bronchiectasis can take months or even years to develop. Here are some of the symptoms:
- chronic coughing
- coughing up blood
- abnormal sounds or wheezing in the chest on breathing
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- coughing up large amounts of mucus daily
- bad breath odor
- skin with a blue appearance
- weight loss
- thickening of the skin under your nails and toes
- repeated infections
Your doctor will listen to your lungs to check for any abnormal sounds or evidence of airway blockage. You’ll likely need a complete blood test to identify an infection. Other tests may include:
- sputum test to check your mucous for viruses or bacteria
- chest X-ray or CT scan to provide images of your lungs
- pulmonary function tests to find out how well air is flowing into your lungs
- purified protein derivative (PPD) skin test to check for tuberculosis
Early diagnosis can help control symptoms and delay progression of the condition.
There is no cure for bronchiectasis, but prompt treatments can help you manage the condition.
Consult your pulmonologist to manage your disease at Aadil Hospital.