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What causes bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis is often caused by recurrent inflammation or infection of the airways. It may be present at birth, but most often begins in childhood as a complication from infection or inhaling a foreign object. The most common cause is severe respiratory infections. Immune deficiency disorders, hereditary disorders (such as cystic fibrosis, in which abnormal mucus impairs the ability of cilia to clear the bronchi of organisms that cause infections), and mechanical factors (such as bronchial obstruction caused by an inhaled object, a lung tumor, or other disorders) may predispose a person to infections that lead to bronchiectasis. A small number of cases probably result from inhaling toxic substances that injure the bronchi, such as noxious fumes, gases, smoke (including tobacco smoke), and injurious dust (silica, coal dust). Cystic fibrosis causes about 50% of all bronchiectasis in the United States today. Recurrent, severe lung infections (pneumonia, tuberculosis, fungal infections), abnormal lung defenses, and obstruction of the airway by a foreign body or tumor are some of the predisposing factors.


More information on bronchiectasis

What is bronchiectasis? - Bronchiectasis is an abnormal stretching and enlarging of the respiratory passages caused by mucus blockage.
What causes bronchiectasis? - Bronchiectasis is caused by recurrent inflammation or infection of the airways. The most common cause is severe respiratory infections.
What're the symptoms of bronchiectasis? - The most common symptoms of bronchiectasis are cough with sputum production. Dry bronchiectasis patient frequently cough up blood.
How is bronchiectasis diagnosed? - The diagnosis of bronchiectasis can be suspected by the physician if he hears abnormal crackling sounds when listening to the lungs.
What's the treatment for bronchiectasis? - Treatment of bronchiectasis is directed against infections, secretions, airway obstruction, and complications.
How to prevent bronchiectasis? - The risk of bronchiectasis may be reduced if lung infections are promptly treated. Prompt removal of an inhaled foreign body can prevent bronchiectasis.
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