Online Appointment
Patient Portal


Dr. Ann Mary Jacob, Consultant Pulmonologist, SUT Hospital, Pattom

Bronchiectasis is a disease that affects the airways. It is becoming more and more common in our society today. We can classify the main causes of this disease as congenital and later developing. Congenital malformations include Immotile Cilia Syndrome and Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. It starts at a young age but becomes more common during later period. These include juvenile whooping cough, chickenpox, measles, tuberculosis, pneumonia, and uncontrolled asthma.

Symptoms include a chronic cough with sputum, coughing up blood in the sputum, a foul odour on the sputum and breath, and shortness of breath. Patients with bronchiectasis are more likely to develop sputum infections, which can lead to chronic fever and cough.

Although a chest x-ray may be helpful in diagnosing the condition, a high-resolution CT scan is the most important and appropriate test. In addition, pulmonary function tests can be done to examine if there is any shortness of breath. Mucus tests should be performed to check for infections and tuberculosis.

The most important treatment is to control the infection. Postural drainage is required for this purpose. In addition, inhaler treatment is essential if you have shortness of breath. In severe cases, oxygen therapy and antibiotics may be needed. Even though oral antibiotics are commonly prescribed for the treatment, intravenous antibiotics may be needed in some cases. But the most important treatment is to remove the damaged part by surgical method. But this is not as easy as we think. Some injections can be taken to prevent lung infections. These include the pneumococcal vaccine and the annual influenza vaccine.

If left untreated, bronchiectasis can lead to respiratory failure and heart failure. Early diagnosis and treatment helps people to manage the symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening. Therefore, it is imperative that people with these symptoms seek appropriate treatment from a specialist.