Bronchiectasis affects many patients with established lung disease as well as most patients with cystic fibrosis. It is often not diagnosed in non-CF patients, and seeking and confirming the diagnosis in these patients allows the provision of disease-appropriate treatment, with major potential benefit.
- Bronchiectasis frequently mimics common diseases such as COPD, asthma and chronic cough.
- Confirming a diagnosis of bronchiectasis enables the provision of disease-appropriate treatments and cessation of inappropriate treatments.
- Airway clearance and mucoactive therapies are key to improved outcomes, reduced exacerbations and improved quality of life.
- Treatment with antibiotics is important for eradication of bacteria from the airways, exacerbation management and long-term suppression of microbial colonists in the airways. It can be complex, given the multiple organisms possibly present.
- A diagnosis and management plan created in co-operation with respiratory physicians and respiratory physiotherapists can help simplify and improve management.