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Bronchiectasis (say "brawn-kee-ECK-tuh-sus") is a lung problem in which the breathing tubes are stretched and become larger. The buildup of mucus causes the stretching and can lead to swelling and infections. You may find it harder to breathe and cough up mucus out of your lungs. Some people are born with it. Other people get it because of another health problem, usually cystic fibrosis or a lung infection such as pneumonia or tuberculosis.
Symptoms are often different for everyone. But a cough that brings up mucus, or sputum, is common. The condition is usually treated with antibiotics, medicines to relax the airways (bronchodilators), and medicines to make it easier to cough up mucus (expectorants).
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: February 24, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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