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Medically reviewed by Last updated on Apr 2, 2024.

What is bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is a condition that causes mucus to collect in your airway. Chronic respiratory infections or inflammation cause the bronchi to become thick. Bronchi are larger airways that help carry air in and out of your lungs. Your lungs make mucus to trap and remove germs and irritants that you breathe. Bronchiectasis prevents your lungs from clearing the mucus. This leads to more infections and inflammation, and scarring in your lungs.

The Lungs

What increases my risk for bronchiectasis?

You may have bronchiectasis with or without cystic fibrosis. Any of the following may increase your risk:

What are the signs and symptoms of bronchiectasis?

Periods of active signs and symptoms are called exacerbations.

How is bronchiectasis diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will listen to your lungs and heart. He or she will ask about your other health conditions and any medicines you take. You may also need any of the following tests:

How is bronchiectasis treated?

Treatment options

The following list of medications are related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

How can I manage bronchiectasis?

What can I do to prevent the spread of germs?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:

When should I call my doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.