Lung diseases are some of the most common medical conditions in the world. Tens of millions of people suffer from lung disease in the U.S. Smoking, infections, and genetics are responsible for most lung diseases.
The lungs are part of a complex apparatus, expanding and relaxing thousands of times each day to bring in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. Lung disease can result from problems in any part of this system.
Chest pain that is sudden and stabbing. It may get worse when you breathe in. The pain may spread to the shoulder or the belly.
Clubbing. The ends of the fingers and toes swell and the nails bulge outward. The nails wrap around the fingers or toes and look raised, curved, and shiny.
How is bronchiectasis diagnosed?
Your doctor will diagnose bronchiectasis by giving you a physical exam and doing some medical tests.
If you have a cough every day that produces mucus, your doctor may want to do a chest CT scan. Other tests your doctor may do include blood tests to look for infection, a test to find bacteria in your mucus, and tests to measure how well your lungs are working (lung function).
How is it treated?
Bronchiectasis is treated with antibiotics, medicines to relax the airways (bronchodilators), and medicines to make it easier to cough up mucus (expectorants).
Your doctor may teach you airway clearance techniques to help you cough up mucus.
In postural drainage, you move your body into different positions to help drain fluid from the lungs. This helps to ease breathing and prevent infections.
In chest percussion, you clap your chest with a cupped hand to vibrate the airways in the lungs. The vibration helps you cough up mucus.
Your doctor may give you an airway clearance device, such as a flutter valve to help remove mucus from the lungs.
If the bronchiectasis is severe, you may need oxygen therapy or surgery.