The condition (bronchiectasis) I'm actually facing- according to CT Scan
Well, the 'verdict' is in from the CAT scan done last week and the general finding is as follows:
No significant emphysematous changes are seen. There is mild bronchiectasis, but no evidence of chronic interstitial pulmonary disease. There is no evidence of an acute pulmonary disease process.
That the diagnosis isn't pulmonary fibrosis was a kind of cause for relief, but the condition still requires management - including keeping O2 levels up, lung function good, etc. and especially avoiding infection. The symptoms - which can take months or years to develop - are, according to one (healthline) website:
- chronic daily cough
- coughing up blood
- abnormal sounds or wheezing in the chest with breathing
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- coughing up large amounts of thick mucus every day
- weight loss
- change in the structure of fingernails and toenails, known as clubbing
Each of which I've had (except the last) especially the productive cough - for at least the last ten months. One thing I am glad I did is get the Moderna vaccine as soon as it was accessible to my age group. Both of the shots - not just one, e.g
This is given that I don't believe I'd have lasted a week if I'd have contracted the virus. As for the causes of the bronchial condition, the medical cognoscenti (as usual) are unclear. Some suggestions include: smoking, genetic abnormalities, polluted air, cooking fumes, and previous flu infections. Here, I can recall my bout with the Hong Kong flu in December, 1968, and being laid up for two weeks. It is quite possible that infection, along with several others ( H3 N2 in 2014, e.g.
Led the way in terms of damage on the bronchial tubes. Yeah, as a young man - 21- 23, I also used to smoke two packs of Marlboro 100s a day (when working at an oil company in New Orleans) but quit cold turkey after one night episode of being unable to breathe. Still, I believe the multiple bad flus I've had played much bigger roles in leading to this condition. As for what can be done to treat or manage it, the Healthline website lists the following.
Common methods of treating bronchiectasis include:
- clearing the airways with breathing exercises and chest physiotherapy
- undergoing pulmonary rehabilitation
- taking antibiotics to prevent and treat infection (studies are currently being done on new formulations of inhaled antibiotics)
- taking bronchodilators like albuterol (Proventil) and tiotropium (Spiriva) to open up airways
- taking medications to thin mucus
- taking expectorants to aid in coughing up mucus
- undergoing oxygen therapy
- getting vaccinations to prevent respiratory infections
We will see how this unfolds. In the meantime, excuse me while I use the spirometer to do some lung capacity- breathing exercises!
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