What is Bronchiectasis?
Bronchiectasis (bron-key-ECK-tah-sis) is a lung condition where your bronchi get too wide and mucus builds up in them. Your bronchi are medium-sized airways (tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs). Your lungs make mucus to trap and remove germs and irritants that you breathe in. The mucus made in your lungs is also called phlegm (flem). Your airways are lined with ciliated cells that help move the mucus out of your lungs. The cilia (SIL-ee-ah) are fine, hair-like structures on the cells that move back and forth. These special cells sweep the mucus upward in your airways to move it out of your lungs. With Bronchiectasis, your lungs get damaged and cannot clear out the mucus the way they should. The mucus stays in the airways and germs grow in it and scar, making it harder for you to move air through them. Treatment is aimed at preventing more damage from infections.