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Use this resource to help you understand and feel more confident when talking about bronchiectasis (BE) or related conditions.

Airway clearance

[air-way] [kleer-uhns]

Various techniques that help break up mucus, prevent it from building up, and allow it to be cleared more easily from the lungs and airways.

Bronchiectasis (BE)


A disease in which there is permanent enlargement of parts of the airways of the lungs. Symptoms typically include chronic cough with mucus production. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing up blood, and chest pain.



Continuing over a long period of time or recurring frequently.

CT scan (computed tomography)

[see-tee] [skan]/[kuhm-pyoo-ted] [tuh-mah-gruh-fee]

A procedure that uses an X-ray machine connected to a computer to capture detailed images of the body’s internal areas.



When BE symptoms, such as coughing, increased mucus, shortness of breath, and fatigue, get worse over a period of time.



Irritation, redness, swelling, pain, tenderness, and heat in an area of the body.

Inhaled medications

[in-heyld] [med-i-key-shuhns]

Medications that are breathed into the lungs.

Lung damage

[luhng] [dam-ij]

In BE, airways are abnormally widened and damaged, which makes it difficult to clear mucus from the airways.



A slimy mixture that is produced by glands. It also protects and lubricates surfaces in the body.

Nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) lung disease

[nohn-too-bur-kyuh-luhs] [mahy-koh-bak-teer-ee-uhl] [luhng] [dih-zeez]

NTM lung disease is an infection that occurs in the lungs. The infection is caused by bacteria that are common in the environment.



A medical specialist who diagnoses and treats lung diseases.



A doctor who devotes attention to a particular class of disease or patient.



Mucus or phlegm that is coughed up from the lungs and airways.

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