Bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition characterised by widened and inflamed airways. Mucus or phlegm then gets stuck in the widened airways leaving the sufferer prone to infection. The extent to which people are affected can vary greatly. The severity of patientís symptoms depends on how many of the airways are affected and how badly.

There are many causes of bronchiectasis, including previous severe respiratory infections, inhalation of noxious particles and congenital causes.

The damage caused with bronchiectasis means airways in the lungs collapse easily which then leads to an obstruction of airflow in and out of the lungs and pooling of secretions in the airways. This causes the patients to then report symptoms such as breathlessness, a frequent cough with difficulty clearing phlegm, and suffering with recurrent chest infections which can take a long time to resolve.

A Physiotherapist can teach you how to best manage your symptoms using non-medical techniques. These may include:

  • Optimising your inhaler technique to get the most from your medications,
  • Teaching breathing exercises to help clear your chest of phlegm or to control breathlessness,
  • To educate and advise on various sputum clearance devices available,
  • To optimize your fitness including the use of pacing strategies,
  • Lifestyle advice,
  • Provide smoking cessation support if required,
  • Provide education about your lung condition,
  • Laise your awareness of disease specific support groups,
  • Ensure you are aware of how best to protect yourself from infections.

A physiotherapist can also make recommendations to your GP or Consultant regarding pharmacological treatments if required.

At your first appointment our clinicians will take a careful history from you, perform a comprehensive clinical assessment, and couple this with state of the art diagnostic procedures, including spirometry and blood oxygen check, to accurately diagnose your lung problem. They will then explain the results of the assessment, and provide you with a treatment programme suited to your specific needs. The physiotherapist will provide individually tailored treatment and ensure you are able to self-manage your condition. Any treatment will be recommended in line with the most recent Bronchiectasis guidelines produced by The British Thoracic Society.