Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition that leads to frequent blockages and infections in your airways. The experts at Respiratory, Critical Care, and Sleep Specialists diagnose and treat bronchiectasis at three clinics in Chicago, Des Plaines, and Oak Park, Illinois. If you think you may have bronchiectasis, call or book an appointment online today.
Bronchiectasis happens when the bronchial tubes, or airways, in your lungs become permanently damaged and thickened from inflammation and infection. This can leave your airways more susceptible to infections from bacteria and other microbes.
People with bronchiectasis experience periods of worsened symptoms, called exacerbations, as well as periods of good health. Without treatment, bronchiectasis causes your lung function to decline over time. However, the team at Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists can help you manage your symptoms and live a normal life.
Anything that damages your lungs can cause bronchiectasis, including cigarette smoking. Lung infections are a major cause of bronchiectasis. Other diseases that damage the lungs or increase your risk of lung infections include:
Diseases that suppress your immune system, like HIV, can also increase your risk of lung infections and bronchiectasis.
Bronchiectasis symptoms typically develop slowly over time and may include:
You may also notice a thickening of the flesh beneath your fingernails and toenails (clubbing). Some people with bronchiectasis have few symptoms, or none at all. Others experience symptoms on a daily basis.
First, your Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists provider carefully reviews your symptoms and medical history. They perform a physical exam, checking for abnormal sounds or signs of blocked airways. They also take tests, which may include:
After they diagnose your bronchiectasis, the team at Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists develops a respiratory therapy plan to help you manage your symptoms. Depending on your needs, treatment may include:
If you have symptoms of bronchiectasis, call Respiratory Critical Care and Sleep Specialists or book an appointment online today.