FAQ: Is Bronchiectasis A Serious Illness?

Complications of bronchiectasis are rare, but they can be serious. One of the most serious complications is coughing up large amounts of blood, caused by one of the blood vessels in the lungs splitting. This can be life-threatening and may require emergency surgery to treat it.

What is the life expectancy of someone with bronchiectasis?

Most people diagnosed with bronchiectasis have a normal life expectancy with treatment tailored to their needs. Some adults with bronchiectasis developed symptoms when they were children and live with bronchiectasis for many years. Some people, who have very severe bronchiectasis, may have a shorter life expectancy.

Is bronchiectasis a chronic lung disease?

Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition where the walls of the bronchi are thickened from inflammation and infection. People with bronchiectasis have periodic flare-ups of breathing difficulties, called exacerbations.

Does bronchiectasis shorten your life?

Those with severe bronchiectasis may still live for many years. Although life expectancy may be shortened with severe bronchiectasis, prognosis can still be good for patients for many years. The key is following your bronchiectasis treatment plan and monitoring symptoms to make sure they stay under control.

Does bronchiectasis get worse over time?

Bronchiectasis is a long-term (or chronic) disease that gets worse over time. There’s no cure, but you can live with it for a long time.

Is bronchiectasis as bad as COPD?

Overall, the findings suggest that quality of life in bronchiectasis patients “is related both to aetiology [cause], with worse QoL in COPD‐related bronchiectasis, and to disease severity,” the team concluded.

Is bronchiectasis a form of COPD?

COPD is similar to bronchiectasis in that it causes frequent pneumonias, inflammation, and permanent damage to your lungs. However, COPD is used as an umbrella term to describe other impaired breathing conditions, such as emphysema, chronic bronchitis, or asthma.

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Is bronchiectasis classed as a disability?

Bronchiectasis is one of the conditions listed in the Social Security Administration Blue Book, or listing of impairments that can qualify a person for Social Security Disability benefits.

What is severe bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is a long-term condition where the airways of the lungs become widened, leading to a build-up of excess mucus that can make the lungs more vulnerable to infection. The most common symptoms of bronchiectasis include: a persistent cough that usually brings up phlegm (sputum) shortness of breath.

Is mild bronchiectasis serious?

Bronchiectasis can affect one, or several parts of the lung. It can be quite mild, where there is not a lot of mucus or can be more severe where people might cough up more mucus. Infections can cause the lungs to become inflamed, which can damage or block parts of the lung.

Is bronchiectasis a progressive disease?

Bronchiectasis is a common, progressive respiratory disease characterised by permanent dilatation of the bronchi and presenting with a clinical syndrome of cough, sputum production and recurrent respiratory infections.

Can bronchiectasis affect the heart?

Bronchiectasis is a serious condition. Without treatment, it can lead to respiratory failure or heart failure.

What foods to avoid if you have bronchiectasis?

These include starchy and sugary foods. Starchy foods should always be included at each meal, e.g. bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals. Sugary foods include cakes, biscuits, sweets and fizzy drinks. These can provide excess energy and may need to be limited if you are overweight.

Is bronchiectasis an autoimmune disease?

Bronchiectasis is associated with several autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjogren’s syndrome, relapsing polychondritis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

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What are the three types of bronchiectasis?

Three basic morphologic types of bronchiectasis that are recognized at CT are cylindrical, varicose, and cystic (Fig 2), and many patients have a combination of these three classic types.

Can bronchiectasis improve?

There is no cure for bronchiectasis because the damage to the airways can’t be reversed, but its symptoms and lung infections can be treated. The goal is to treat the underlying conditions and lung infections, to remove mucus from the lungs, and to prevent further complications.