You may or may not have heard of these before – let alone tried to pronounce them. Here is some basic information about these two lung conditions: bronchiectasis and NTM lung disease. We’ll add more details and point you to resources as we progress through this month’s general education on lung conditions.
Bronchiectasis is a condition that results in increased mucus in the airways. Individuals with bronchiectasis have a difficult time clearing the excess mucus, and as a result, they develop repeated lung infections. Cough, increased production of mucus, and fatigue are just a few major symptoms of bronchiectasis. In this case, we are not talking about a cough that happens from time to time; in bronchiectasis, the cough will be very frequent and the amounts of mucus considerable.
This is not an easy word to pronounce, so let’s consult some of our fellow experts. The American Thoracic Society shows us that bronchiectasis is pronounced bron-kee-eck-tuh-sis. (Emphasis on capitalized section: bron-kee-ECK-tuh-sis). It gets a bit easier with repetition.
NTM Lung Disease is a different condition, so let’s take a closer look at what NTM is and what the condition involves. NTM stands for nontuberculous mycobacteria (non-too-BURR-cue-lus my-co-bak-TEAR-ea). It’s difficult to say, hence even many of the experts refer to it as “NTM.” NTM lung disease is therefore a lung condition caused by these types of bacteria. There are many different NTM (in fact, more than 140, although not all of these cause lung disease in humans). They can be found in soil, in water, and other everyday environments. Among other symptoms, people with NTM lung disease often have a chronic cough, feel very tired, and have shortness of breath.
As you might imagine, bronchiectasis and NTM lung disease can look like other lung conditions, including COPD. In addition, you are more likely to develop both of these conditions if you are a person with COPD.
This month, we’ll be giving you more information about each of these, as well as resources you can turn to for more information. One of these resources is our Bronchiectasis and NTM 360 website. We hope you will take a look around – see you there!