Bronchiectasis is a condition where the breathing tubes in the lungs become scarred and permanently distorted. Extra mucus is produced in these damaged airways which are then easily infected. Over time and after lots of infections the airways’ ability to clear out mucus and to transport oxygen is reduced. This can lead to worsened lung scarring and other health problems.
What are the symptoms?
People with bronchiectasis can have a long-standing cough, an increase in phlegm, smelly phlegm, bad breath, a snotty nose, ear infections, and tiredness.
What causes it?
Bronchiectasis can be caused by lots of bad chest infections, problems with fighting off infections, objects going down the wrong way e.g. peanuts, small toys, bad reflux, or difficulty swallowing food.
How is it diagnosed and prevalence?
Bronchiectasis is diagnosed by a chest x-ray followed by a CT scan. The overall prevalence of bronchiectasis was estimated at 139 cases per 100,000 U.S. adults in 2013.
What is the individual impact?
This condition leads to mucus (or sputum) building up and making you more at risk of getting lung infections. Infections can cause the lungs to become inflamed, which can damage or block parts of the lung, leading to symptoms like breathlessness, chest pain, and tiredness.