Bronchiectasis is a condition where the bronchial tubes of your lungs are permanently damaged, widened and thickened. In bronchiectasis, the inside surface of the bronchi get thicker overtime from inflammation that leave scars.
These damaged air passages allow bacteria and mucus to build up and pool in your lungs. This results in frequent infections and blockages of the airways.Times when breathing or coughing gets worse are called exacerbations.
The risk of getting this condition increases with age. In adults, it is much more common in women then in men.
There is no cure for bronchiectasis, but it’s manageable. With treatment, you can typically live a normal life.
Symptoms of bronchiectasis can take months or even years to develop. Coughing and shortness of breath are common symptoms of bronchiectasis. Other symptoms include –
• Coughing that results in a lot of mucus
• Coughing up mucus that has blood in it
• Chestpain or tightness because it is harder to breathe
• Wheezing or making whistling noises when breathing
• Clubbing (thicker skin under finger and toenails) of nails
• Loss of weight
• Frequent respiratory infections
• Flare ups that usually include –
▪︎Fever and/or chills
▪︎Increased shortness of breath
▪︎ Night sweats
Any lung injury can cause bronchiectasis. There are two main categories of this condition.
One is related to having cystic fibrosis (CF) and is known as CF bronchiectasis. CF is a genetic condition that causes an abnormal production of mucus.
The other category is non-CF bronchiectasis, which is not related to CF. The most common known conditions that can lead to non-CF bronchiectasis include –
• an abnormally functioning immune system
• inflammatory bowel disease
• chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
• autoimmune diseases
• alpha 1- antitrypsin deficiency (an inheritable cause of COPD)
• allergic aspergillosis
• lung infections, such as whooping cough and tuberculosis
CF affects the lungs and other organs like the pancreas and liver. In the lungs, this results is repeated infections.In other organs, it causes poor functioning.
Common complications include recurrent pneumonia requiring hospitalization, empyema, lung abscess, progressive respiratory failure and cor pulmonale.
Additional complications include chronic bronchial infection and pneumothorax.
To diagnose bronchiectasis following tests are available-
• A chest X-ray and CT scan to make images of your lungs
• Blood tests to check for infections
• Pulmonary function test to measure how well you’re breathing
• Test of material that you cough up from your lungs, called sputum, Which may have bacteria in it
• A sweat test to look for cystic fibrosis
• Bronchoscopy to look inside your airways
Specific therapies may slow down the progression of bronchiectasis. There is no cure for bronchiectasis in general, but treatment is important to help you manage the condition. The main aim of treatment is to keep infections and bronchial secretions under control.
It is also critical to prevent further obstructions of the airways and minimize lung damage. Common methods of treating bronchiectasis includes –
• clearing the airways with breathing exercises and chest physiotherapy
• undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation
• taking antibiotics to prevent and treat infection
• taking bronchodilators like albuterol and tiotropium to open up airways
• taking medications to thin mucus
• taking expectorants to aid in coughing up mucus
• undergoing oxygen therapy
• getting vaccinations to prevent respiratory infections
• Chest physiotherapy
If there’s bleeding in the lung, or if the bronchiectasis is only in one part of your lung ,you may need surgery to remove the affected area.
Some steps help prevent the infections and tissue damage that can lead to bronchiectasis.
• Get treatment for any lung infection as soon as possible.
• Maker sure children get recommended vaccination for illnesses like whooping cough and measles.
• Keep an eye on small children to keep them from putting things in their mouth. Get help right away if someone’s airways are blocked
• Avoid things that can damage your lungs, like smoke and chemicals
In Ayurveda bronchiectasis can be correlated with Urakshata.
Beneficial Herbs –
• Pippli –
• Vasa –
• Saunth –
• Mulethi –
• Talishadi Churna
• Godanti Bhasm
• Mulethi Churna
• Swas kasa chintamani Ras
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