What treatments have been helpful in treating bronchiectasis?
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What is the treatment for bronchiectasis?
Unfortunately, bronchiectasis is not a curable disease, but a slowly
progressive disease. Treatment for bronchiectasis is based on control of symptoms and preventing
additional infections. Treatment protocols frequently include keeping
immunizations up-to-date, eliminating aggravating factors such as cigarette
smoke, alcohol and drugs, and encouraging good nutrition. Increasing fluid
intake to keep mucous less sticky is another treatment. Sometimes an expectorant
(to loosen the mucous) and mucous thinning medication can help decrease
Chest physical therapy , which usually involves rhythmic clapping on the back
of your chest , can help with loosening sputum so it can be coughed up.
If patients acquire an infection, antibiotics effective against the pathogen
(virus, bacteria, or fungus) and
chest physiotherapy are utilized as primary treatments. In addition,
bronchodilators, corticosteroid therapy and, if needed, oxygen therapy is
utilized in many patients. Patients with severe exacerbations of bronchiectasis
usually need hospitalization and IV medications.
Patients with bronchiectasis that is poorly controlled with antibiotics may
require surgical therapy. Surgical therapy (or in some individuals,
bronchoscopy) can remove mucus plugging, foreign bodies or tumors that
exacerbate bronchiectasis. Excessive hemoptysis may need to be treated
surgically or by bronchial artery embolization. Some patients may benefit from
surgical removal of nonfunctional lung tissue.