What Is the Most Common Cause of Bronchiectasis?

Reviewed on 3/18/2021

What is bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is a chronic lung condition in which the bronchi (tube-like passageways that transfer air within the lungs) get permanently damaged and widened. The most common causes of bronchiectasis are pneumonia, pertussis, tuberculosis and non-tuberculosis mycobacterium.
Bronchiectasis is a chronic lung condition in which the bronchi (tube-like passageways that transfer air within the lungs) get permanently damaged and widened. The most common causes of bronchiectasis are pneumonia, pertussis, tuberculosis and non-tuberculosis mycobacterium.

Bronchiectasis is a chronic lung condition in which the bronchi (tube-like passageways that transfer air within the lungs) get permanently damaged and widened. Any condition that causes narrowing or damage to the airways can result in bronchiectasis. Around 350,000 to 500,000 people in the United States have bronchiectasis. It is more common in women than in men and the risk of bronchiectasis increases with age in both genders.

Bronchiectasis is more common in women than in men. There are many causes of bronchiectasis, but the condition is most commonly caused by an infection of the airways. Around 40 percent of cases of bronchiectasis have no apparent cause. Such cases are called idiopathic bronchiectasis. Often, repeated infections result in bronchiectasis. These include

Other causes of bronchiectasis include

What are the symptoms of bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is a chronic or long-term condition. The symptoms typically develop gradually over months or years and become worse as the disease progresses. The two classical symptoms of bronchiectasis are cough and daily production of a lot of mucus or sputum. Other symptoms of this condition include

What is the best treatment for bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is a serious condition. In the absence of proper treatment, it can progress to cause permanent lung damage, leading to conditions such as respiratory and heart failure.

The treatment targets include improving symptoms, controlling flare-ups, improving the quality of life and reducing the development of complications. The treatment mainly comprises

  • Management of underlying health conditions
  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • Mucus-thinning medications
  • Bronchodilators to widen the airways and allow better movement of air
  • Chest physiotherapy and airway clearance devices such as oscillating positive expiratory pressure (PEP) and intrapulmonary percussive ventilation (IPV)
  • Getting the necessary vaccinations (such as pneumococcal vaccines)

Your doctor may also suggest lifestyle changes such as

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References
Medscape Medical Reference

NIH


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