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What is bronchiectasis?

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Quick Answer

Bronchiectasis is a condition in which mucus cannot be efficiently cleared out of the lungs causing the airways to become stretched and widened, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The excess mucus allows bacteria to grow and leads to chronic infections, further damaging the lungs.

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Full Answer

Bronchiectasis can result from medical conditions that cause the production of mucus, such as cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis and pneumonia. It may also be a congenital condition that affects infants and children. It can affect only one section of the lungs or multiple sections. As of 2015, there is no known cure, but bronchiectasis can be managed with proper treatment, according to the American Lung Association.

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