- Breath odor.
- Chronic cough with large amounts of foul-smelling sputum.
- Clubbing of fingers.
- Coughing up blood.
- Cough that gets worse when lying on one side.
- Shortness of breath that gets worse with exercise.
- Weight loss.
- Immunodeficiency disorders, such as common variable immunodeficiency and, less often, HIV and AIDS.
- Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis: This is an allergic reaction to a fungus called aspergillus. The reaction causes swelling in the airways.
- Disorders that affect cilia function, such as primary ciliary dyskinesia. Cilia are small, hair-like structures that line your airways. They normally clear mucus (a slimy substance) out of your airways.
- A sputum culture: Lab tests of a sample of your sputum can show whether you have bacteria (such as the bacteria that cause tuberculosis) and fungi.
- Lung function tests: These tests measure the size of your lungs, how much air you can breathe in and out, how fast you can breathe air out, and how well your lungs deliver oxygen to your blood. Lung function tests help show how much lung damage you have.
- A sweat test or other tests for cystic fibrosis.
- Steroids -- Inhaled as an aerosol spray, steroids can help relieve symptoms of bronchiectasis. Over time, however, inhaled steroids can cause side effects, such as weakened bones, high blood pressure, diabetes and cataracts. It is important to discuss these side effects with your doctor before using steroids.
- Antibiotics -- Antibiotics may be used to help fight respiratory infections caused by bronchiectasis.
- Mucus Thinners and Expectorants -- Mucus thinners and expectorants help loosen and clear mucus from lungs.
- Respiratory Therapy -- People with bronchiectasis must clear mucus from their lungs on a daily basis. This may be done with chest physical therapy, which involves vigorously clapping the back and chest to dislodge mucus from the lungs. Airway clearance can also be achieved with mechanical devices that stimulate mucus clearance.
- Surgery -- Lung volume reduction surgery, during which small wedges of damaged lung tissue are removed, may be recommended for some patients with severe cases of bronchiectasis.
- Lung Transplant In very severe cases, lung transplantation may be an option for some patients.
- Azithromycin (Zithromax).
- Trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole (Septra, Bactrim).
- Doxycycline (Doryx, Vibra-Tabs, Vibramycin).
- Levofloxacin (Levaquin).
- Tobramycin for inhalation (TOBI).
- Gentamicin (Gentacidin, Garamycin).
- Amikacin (Amikin).
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