Bronchiectasis is a disease that causes the airways or bronchial tubes of the lungs to widen and become flabby. It is caused by infections or other conditions that destroy the smooth muscles surrounding the bronchial tubes and prevents the airways from clearing mucus. The goal of treatment for bronchiectasis is to control the secretions and prevent infections.
Congenital bronchiectasis is linked to genetic defects that may occur with such conditions as cystic fibrosis. If the disease occurs later in life, it is referred to as acquired bronchiectasis. In the most severe cases, bronchiectasis may result in respiratory failure.
In normal lungs, mucus is created to remove dust, bacteria and small particles from the lungs that are expelled by coughing. With bronchiectasis, the airways lose their ability to clear out mucus, causing recurring inflammation or infection of the airways.
The following illustration shows healthy airways compared to those with bronchiectasis.
Figure A shows a cross-section of the lungs with normal airways and widened airways. Figure B shows a cross-section of a normal airway. Figure C shows a cross-section of an airway with bronchiectasis.
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, “What is Bronchiectasis?” www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/brn/
Another source for learning about Bronchiectasis is on the American Lung Association website: www.lung.org/lung-disease/bronchiectasis/understanding-bronchiectasis.html
Symptoms of bronchiectasis include: a chronic cough; a cough that worsens when lying down; fatigue, shortness of breath that worsens with exercise; and wheezing. These bronchiectasis symptoms may develop gradually and become evident months or even years after the causal event. The primary treatments for bronchiectasis are medications, such as antibiotics or use of inhaled steroids, and chest physiotherapy
Chest physiotherapy used to treat bronchiectasis can be performed manually or with an airway clearance device and is often combined with postural drainage. Postural drainage uses gravity to move the congestion from the lungs up to the throat.
Research has shown that congestion is loosened when a consistent clapping force is applied to the chest. Tests have confirmed that Med Systems’ Electro Flo® 5000 Airway Clearance System with Force Multiplying Technology provides significantly more pulse force than other products to dislodge trapped mucus. In addition, the Electro Flo® 5000 has 30 power and speed settings to provide customized treatments.
Med Systems and its employees are dedicated to providing superior products and service to help patients with bronchiectasis find the relief they seek.Posted in: Articles
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