Living with bronchiectasis
Bronchiectasis (brong-ke-EK-ta-sis) (BE) is a condition where the lungs’ airways are abnormally stretched and scarred, resulting in mucus buildup. Often it is caused by an infection or other condition that injures the walls of the airways or prevents mucus from being cleared.
With BE, lung inflammation and infection can become a repeating cycle:
- Airways slowly lose their ability to clear out mucus.
- The mucus builds up, and bacteria begin to grow.
- The patient can suffer from repeated, serious lung infections.
An under-diagnosed disease
More than 110,000 people in the U.S. are being treated for BE today—but experts believe many others go undiagnosed. In a recent study, 49‑59% of patients with moderate to severe COPD also had BE.4 Could you be one of them?
Common signs & symptoms
- Frequent cough that produces mucus
- Prescribed antibiotics for respiratory infection more than three times in the last year
- Hospitalized for respiratory infections
- History of lung disease
Living better with BE
While there is no cure, early detection and treatment can lead to a better quality of life and slow or prevent further lung damage. Along with medications, airway clearance therapies provide an effective, safe treatment.
If you have been diagnosed with BE, or have some of the symptoms associated with it, you owe it to yourself to learn more.
Could you have bronchiectasis?
What can you do?
Knowledge is power. Learning more about bronchiectasis (BE) is the first step to living better. If you think you might have BE, see a doctor. The Find a Provider tool can help you locate a physician near you who understands BE and how to treat it.
If you’re diagnosed with BE, consider the following recommendations from the National Institutes of Health:3
- Ask your doctor about flu and pneumonia vaccines
- Wash your hands often to minimize viruses and infections
- If you smoke, quit
- Avoid toxic fumes, gases, and other harmful substances
- Follow a healthy diet
- Stay hydrated
- Be as physically active as you can
- Consider joining a patient support group
- Patel IS, Vlahos I, Wilkinson TM, et al. Bronchiectasis, exacerbation indices, and inflammation in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2004;170:400–7.
- Garcia, M, et al. Prognostic Value of Bronchiectasis in Patients with Moderate-to-Severe Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2013;187:823-8.
- Living with Bronchiectasis. NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/brn/livingwith Updated June 2, 2014. Accessed August 11, 2017.
- Kosmas E, Dumitru S, Gkatzias S, et al. Bronchiectasis in patients with COPD: an irrelevant imaging finding or a clinically important phenotype? American College of Chest Physicians. Elsevier Inc., 2016. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/jchest.2016.08.994.
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206963 rev 1 25-OCT-2017 ENG – US