Bronchiectasis is defined by abnormally dilated and floppy airways. As a result patients with bronchiectasis notice symptoms including cough with sputum production as the damaged airways are generally more inflamed producing increased amount of secretions which isn't removed efficiently by the floppy airways. The floppy airways collapse during breathing making it difficult for air to be expelled resulting in shortness of breathe. Complications from bronchiectasis include recurrent infections and pneumonia, bleeding and coughing blood and in more severe cases respiratory failure.
Bronchiectasis is usually suspected when people suffer from the symptoms as described above. A CT scan of the lungs demonstrating the dilated airways then diagnoses it. Other tests are then required to assess complications such as breathing and blood tests.
There are many causes of bronchiectasis that need to be tested for. Treatment includes managing underlying causes of bronchiectasis as well the problematic symptoms often with antibiotics, inhaled medications and other tablets.
Treatment should be started early to avoid complications.