Know About Bronchiectasis, Reason, Symptom, Treatment, Prevention


Bronchiectasis is a long-term condition in which the airways in the lungs become abnormally wide. This condition causes excess mucus buildup and makes the lungs more susceptible to infection.

Bronchiectasis can occur when the tissues and muscles that surround the bronchi (airways leading to the lungs) are damaged. This damage can be triggered by various diseases such as fibrosis, lung infections, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and autoimmune diseases such as AIDS.


Bronchiectasis is caused by damage and widening of the airways in the lungs. This can occur as a result of infection or other conditions. But sometimes the cause is unknown.

The lungs are constantly exposed to germs in the air and the body basically has an immune system that functions to keep the lungs free from infection. When germs or foreign objects attack the body, immune cells release chemicals to help fight infection, which can cause inflammation of the surrounding tissue.

In most people, the inflammatory process can take place and be completed without causing complications if handled properly. However, bronchiectasis can occur when the inflammation causes permanent damage to the elastic tissue and muscles around the bronchi, causing them to widen.

This condition causes the damaged bronchi to fill with excess mucus, causes persistent coughing, and makes the lungs more susceptible to infection. If the lungs experience repeated infections, this can cause repeated inflammation and the bronchi will become wider.

In about half of cases of bronchiectasis, no clear cause can be found. However, some of the common precipitators identified could be childhood infections. Some of these include severe pneumonia, whooping cough, tuberculosis, or measles, decreased ability of the immune system, abnormalities in the cilia (hair-shaped structures that line the airways), aspiration (entry of solid or liquid objects into the respiratory tract), or various conditions other health.


The most frequently observed symptom of bronchiectasis is a persistent cough accompanied by large amounts of sputum every day. Sputum can be clear, pale yellow, or greenish yellow. However, some other individuals with bronchiectasis may also have little or no phlegm.

Other signs and symptoms that can occur in bronchiectasis are:

  • Hard to breathe
  • A lot
  • Coughing up blood or with sputum accompanied by blood
  • Chest pain
  • Pain in the joints
  • Clubbing fingers (thickening of the tissue under the nails that gives the fingertips a rounded shape)


The diagnosis of bronchiectasis is determined based on a detailed medical interview, direct physical examination, and supporting examinations if deemed necessary. During a medical interview, the doctor may ask about the symptoms you are experiencing, such as how often you have a cough, whether there is phlegm, and whether there is a history of smoking.

A physical examination that can be done includes listening to breath sounds using a stethoscope. In individuals with bronchiectasis there is often a crackling sound when inhaling and exhaling.

In addition, some supporting examinations that can be carried out are:

  • X-ray photo. X-rays with X-rays can be done to see the structure of the lungs and rule out other possible diagnoses.
  • Sputum examination. If the doctor suspects that you have a lung infection, sputum samples can also be taken for sputum analysis.
  • Blood test. To see the presence of infection as well as the cells of the immune system.
  • Pulmonary function test examination. Done with a spirometer to assess lung performance.
  • Bronchoscopy. If deemed necessary, an examination can be carried out by inserting a flexible tube with a camera at the end to see the structure of the lungs. This examination is generally performed when there is aspiration of a foreign body.


The lung damage associated with bronchiectasis is usually permanent, but treatment can be done to prevent the condition from worsening. In most cases, treatment generally includes a combination of several therapeutic modalities.

Several types of treatment for bronchiectasis are:

  • Sport. There are a number of exercise options to remove phlegm from the lungs, which may help with coughing and shortness of breath in individuals with bronchiectasis, including practicing breathing techniques and postural drainage.
  • Treatment. In some cases, medication can be given to help the breathing process or expel phlegm from the lungs. Treatment can be given by inhalation or orally. The types of treatment that can be given include antibiotics and drugs for the symptoms you are experiencing, according to indications.
  • Surgery. Surgery is performed quite rarely, and is only recommended when bronchiectasis affects only one part of the lung and symptoms do not improve with other types of treatment.


In order to avoid bronchiectasis, it is very important to prevent lung infections and lung damage that can cause this condition. Vaccinating children for measles and whooping cough can prevent the infections associated with these, as well as the complications that can include bronchiectasis.

Apart from that, it is also advised to avoid being around toxic gases, cigarettes, smoke, and other harmful substances that can cause lung damage. According to Armando Hasudungan Bronchiectasis – causes, pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, investigations and treatment

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