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Bronchiectasis

Overview

Bronchiectasis is an acquired disorder of the large bronchi (airways) which become dilated after destructive infections of thelungs. Rarely, it may be congenital.


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Causes

Bronchiectasis is caused by recurrent inflammation or infection of the airways and primarily affects children, although any agemay be affected. It may be present at birth, but most often begins in childhood as a complication from infection or foreign bodyaspiration. Cystic fibrosis, lung infections, and bronchial tumors are some predisposing factors. Symptoms may developgradually after an infection, and become progressively worse. The incidence is 1 in10,000 people.


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Signs & Symptoms

Symptoms vary widely with the individual. chronic cough with sputum production, may contain pus or have a foul odor- coughing up blood- cough worsened by lying on one side- shortness of breath worsened by exercise- weight loss- fatigue- clubbing of fingers may be present (skin or muscle enlargement around the finger nails)- ralesAdditional symptoms that may be associated with this disease:- wheezing- skin discoloration, bluish- paleness- breath odor- ankle, feet, and leg swelling- vision abnormalities- headache- sensations of feeling the heart beat (palpitations) with an irregular pattern

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Prevention

Prompt treatment of lung infections may reduce risk.


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Treatments
Respiratory Therapy Modern Medicine

Treatment is aimed at controlling infections, secretions, airway obstruction, and complications.Regular, daily postural drainage to remove bronchial secretions is a routine part of treatment. A respiratory therapist can teachpostural drainage and effective coughing exercises to affected people and their families. A well balanced diet and adequate fluidintake of at least 8 glasses of fluid a day are very important for health maintenance.

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