Healthy Living: Disease with a wide range of causes

Sheffield's Northern General Hospital
Sheffield's Northern General Hospital
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Bronchiectasis is a long-term lung condition where the airways of the lungs - known as bronchi - become abnormally widened, leading to a build-up of excess mucus.

This in turn can make the airways of the lungs more vulnerable to infection

The most common symptoms include a persistent cough that usually brings up phlegm, breathlessness and coughing up or spitting out blood

Bronchiectasis has a wide range of possible causes and can affect anyone at any age. The three most commonly reported causes are childhood lung infections, underlying problems with the immune system or an allergic reaction to a certain type of fungi that damages the lungs

However, in more than half of all cases, no obvious reason can be found to explain why the bronchi became widened

Treatments include medication, physiotherapy and exercise, and antibiotics