If shortness of breath, frequent cough, or chest pain is getting in the way of you enjoying life’s moments, you may be living with a chronic respiratory condition, such as COPD, cystic fibrosis, or bronchiectasis. Over your lifetime, these lung diseases can weaken the airways, making it difficult for your body to naturally clear mucus on its own so it can prevent the spread of infection.
Living with bronchiectasis has its good and bad days, or “flare ups” (a.k.a exacerbations). When this happens, you may experience a worsening of the following symptoms:
Having recurring flare ups could mean you spend more time in the hospital and less time spent with family or doing activities you love.
“Before I started using SmartVest, I couldn’t make it up the stairs or do any kind of activities like swimming. I was always out of breath. I now have my life back.” – Liz
Bronchiectasis (brong-kee-EK-tuh-sis) is an irreversible, chronic condition where airways in your lungs (bronchi) become damaged and abnormally widened from recurring inflammation or infection.
As your airways are repeatedly damaged, your lungs slowly lose their ability to mobilize and clear mucus. This makes it easier for bacteria to infect your lungs. Each recurring infection causes more damage to your airways, which over time weakens their ability to move air in and out.
Lungs are damaged by bacteria, viruses, fungi, allergens, and other irritants.
Your body responds to infected airways by inflammation and additional mucus creation.
Airways slowly become ineffective at clearing mucus and breathing normally.
To accurately diagnose bronchiectasis, your clinician may recommend a high resolution computerized tomography (HRCT) scan. This diagnostic test allows your doctor to closely examine your lungs’ structure and identify any damage to the airways.
COPD and bronchiectasis can share many similarities, including a chronic cough that produces mucus, shortness of breath, and recurring respiratory infections. If left undiagnosed, a comorbidity of COPD and bronchiectasis can lead to further lung damage, recurring flare ups, and extended hospitalization.
If your body is unable to clear mucus from the lungs naturally on its own, airway clearance therapy via HFCWO is your best defense against mucus build up and infection. The therapy helps to naturally loosen, thin, and propel mucus from the lungs, so it can be more easily coughed out.
For more information on bronchiectasis, watch our video series: “Ask a Pulmonologist”, featuring Dr. Frederic Seifer. Have questions about treating your lung condition? We’re here to help!
In addition to bronchiectasis, other lung diseases that can hinder your ability to effectively clear the airways and breathe independently include:
People living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) share similar symptoms to bronchiectasis, including frequent pneumonias, inflammation, and permanent lung damage.
A general term that refers to impaired muscular and nervous system functions that may affect a person’s ability to naturally clear mucus from their lungs.
A genetic condition that causes thick, sticky mucus build up in the lungs, pancreas, and other organs.
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Your doctor may recommend a combination of medication and airway clearance techniques to help clear mucus in the lungs and reduce the onset of symptoms.
Several times a day using various positions, a therapist or caregiver manually claps on the patient's chest wall to help move the mucus into the larger airways.
Breathing techniques, such as autogenic drainage and the active cycle of breathing technique, use controlled breathing to loosen and mobilize mucus.
Antibiotic therapy plays a central role in treating acute infections, and performs well when combined with airway clearance therapies as a long-term solution.
Oscillating Positive Expiratory Pressure (OPEP) devices create resistance and vibrations while exhaling, which helps to clear mucus from the airways.
A high frequency chest wall oscillation (HFCWO) vest, SmartVest thins, shears, and propels mucus from the lungs, moving it toward major airways where it can be easily coughed out.
The SmartVest Airway Clearance System is the only respiratory vest on the market with proven results that demonstrate its effectiveness in treating bronchiectasis and helping patients get proactive with their HFCWO therapy.
In a published study, patients experienced a dramatic improvement in their breathing and lung function, and even saw a decrease in their antibiotic usage after using SmartVest.1
“I was able to go grocery shopping without using oxygen. Each day I use it, I get better results.” – Shirley
Patients that treat their bronchiectasis with SmartVest reduced
antibiotic prescriptions by and hospitalizations by
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SmartVest supports your body’s natural breathing process through a comfortable, easy-to-use HFCWO therapy device that helps clear the lungs of mucus and relieve your bronchiectasis symptoms, so you spend more time feeling your best.
Find relief from your chronic cough, recurring respiratory infections, and other bronchiectasis-related symptoms with SmartVest! Take the first step by requesting a packet to easily share with your doctor.