As someone living with bronchiectasis, you may experience an increase in mucus production as we enter the cooler months of the year.
A respiratory physiotherapist can play a key role in helping you to manage this.
Lung Foundation Australia Respiratory Care Nurse Amanda said prescribed mucus clearance techniques could slow the progression of bronchiectasis.
“A physiotherapist trained in these techniques can provide you with an airway clearance program and, if clinically indicated, prescribe you a handheld airway clearance device,” Amanda said.
“The majority of people I speak to here as a respiratory care nurse at Lung Foundation Australia have never seen a physiotherapist or had a physiotherapist be included as part of their healthcare team.
“But they can play a key role teaching you techniques to include in your daily self-management.”
Amanda said the progression of bronchiectasis varied significantly, but more infections in your lungs could lead to further inflammation and widening of the bronchi. An effective mucus clearance technique can help to move sputum out of the lungs and decrease the risk of infection.
Bronchiectasis is associated with chronic infection in the small airways, allowing infected mucus to build up and causing parts of the lungs to be damaged. This increased mucus production, left unchecked, can lead to a chronic daily cough.
A physiotherapist trained in airway clearance techniques can help you develop a daily routine that may include breathing exercises, using positive expiratory pressure devices (PEP/OscPEP), inhaling saline via a nebuliser, positioning to open the airways and a prescribed exercise program.
Staying active and eating well, along with stopping smoking, are other key parts of ongoing management for conditions such as bronchiectasis.
Talk to your healthcare team about your best treatment options.
The Bronchiectasis Toolbox is a multidisciplinary resource designed to provide guidance for health professionals who are providing care to children or adults with bronchiectasis. The Toolbox was developed by the Australian Physiotherapy Association with support from The Alfred Hospital, the Institute of Breathing and Sleep, and Lung Foundation Australia.
Respiratory Care Nurse telephone service
Our skilled nurse can provide guidance on all aspects of living with bronchiectasis according to the management guidelines. The Respiratory Care Nurse aims to connect you with the information and support to live well with your lung condition. Book an appointment or Free Call 1800 654 301.