What is Bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis is a pulmonary condition in which damage to the airways causes them to widen and become scarred. The lung disease causes your airways to slowly lose their ability to clear out mucus. As a result, the mucus continues to build up creating a mucus blockage, which allows bacteria to continually grow. This often results in repeated lung infections. The blockage and accompanying infections cause inflammation, which lead to weakened air passages and difficulty breathing. Over time, the airways will lose their ability to move air in and out. This can prevent a sufficient amount of oxygen from reaching vital life-sustaining organs.
Bronchiectasis can develop at any age. The onset of the condition typically can predict the type and cause of the disease. There are two very distinct types of bronchiectasis: congenital and non-congenital (also known as acquired).
Non-congenital bronchiectasis develops after birth. It is typically the result of an injury to a sufferer’s airway walls or another disease such as tuberculosis, pneumonia or influenza. In rare cases, the condition develops because of a growth or foreign object in the airway. Some conditions result from an object you inhaled as a child such as a piece of a toy or peanut. Non-congenital bronchiectasis typically leads to the development of related lung disease symptoms which can be effectively treated with stem cell therapy at the Lung Institute. After treatment, patients report being able to breathe easier once again.
Congenital bronchiectasis usually occurs as part of a birth defect—such as primary ciliary dyskinesia or cystic fibrosis. It can also result from defects in lung development while a fetus. Congenital bronchiectasis also typically leads to the development of related lung disease symptoms which can be effectively treated with stem cell therapy at the Lung Institute.
The symptoms of non-congenital bronchiectasis can differ from person to person. Most commonly, sufferers will experience the following:
- Coughing (typically worsens when laying down)
- Shortness of Breath
- Abnormal Chest Sounds
- Daily Production of Large Amounts of Coughed Up Mucus
- Chest Pain
- Clubbing (flesh under fingernails and toenails becomes thicker)
Bronchiectasis is a disease that doesn’t discriminate. Both women and men can develop bronchiectasis, but women have a higher risk of development. Overall, two-thirds of individuals with bronchiectasis are women.
Non-congenital bronchiectasis typically affects adults and older children. It is significantly more common than the congenital type, which only affects children.
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