British Thoracic Society
What Is Bronchiectasis? source
Bronchiectasis (brong-ke-EK-ta-sis) is a condition in which damage to the airways causes them to widen and become flabby and scarred. The airways are tubes that carry air in and out of your lungs.
Bronchiectasis usually is the result of an infection or other condition that injures the walls of your airways or prevents the airways from clearing mucus. Mucus is a slimy substance that the airways produce to help remove inhaled dust, bacteria, and other small particles.
In bronchiectasis, your airways slowly lose their ability to clear out mucus. When mucus can’t be cleared, it builds up and creates an environment in which bacteria can grow. This leads to repeated, serious lung infections.
Each infection causes more damage to your airways. Over time, the airways lose their ability to move air in and out. This can prevent enough oxygen from reaching your vital organs.
Bronchiectasis can lead to serious health problems, such as respiratory failure, atelectasis (at-eh-LEK-tah-sis), and heart failure.