With good treatment, it is possible for patients with bronchiectasis to remain stable for many years and to have good control of their symptoms. Treatment of bronchiectasis should aim to maximise quality of life, reduce symptoms, prevent exacerbations and prevent any further lung damage from occurring.
The disease progresses through what is called a 'vicious cycle' of infection, inflammation and lung damage. Infections cause the lungs to become inflamed and the inflammation damages the lung. More lung damage makes you more susceptible to infection. We can tackle all three aspects of the cycle as shown in the diagram: