When I was in the hospital the last week of last Year I had a CT Scan which clearly showed bronchiectasis. I had heard the term but again, nobody on my "health-care team" bothered to inform or educate me about this serious condition until I went to my Pulmonologist.
"Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition where the walls of the bronchi are thickened. This is caused by inflammation and infection in the bronchi. People with bronchiectasis will experience periods of good and bad health. The periods when your lung health gets worse are called exacerbations. Some patients with exacerbations notice a gradual decline in their health over a few weeks, while others start to have problems over the span of a few days.
In bronchiectasis, the walls of the bronchi are thickened from long-term inflammation and scarring. As a result of the damage, mucus produced by the cells lining the bronchi does not drain normally. Mucus build-up can cause infection. A cycle of inflammation and infection can develop, leading to loss of lung function over time."
Bronchiectasis is often part of a disease that affects the whole body. It is divided into two categories: cystic fibrosis (CF)-bronchiectasis and non-CF bronchiectasis. Bronchiectasis can develop in the following conditions:
- Humoral immunodeficiency (low levels of infection-fighting proteins in the blood)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis)
- Rheumatologic diseases (rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren’s disease)
- Alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency (genetic cause of COPD in some people)
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD
- HIV infection
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (a type of allergic lung inflammation)"
Here is an article that explains the link between bronchiectasis and COPD:
Do you have experience with this? I have more questions than answers right now.
"Several bronchiectasis support groups have been organized online and can be found through a simple online search. The Lung Association recommends patients and caregivers join our Living with Lung Disease Support Community to connect with others facing this disease. You can also call the Lung Association's Lung Helpline at 1-800-LUNGUSA to talk to a trained respiratory professional who can help answer your questions and connect you with support."
All quotes from American Lung Association in partnership with the Chest Foundation.