Bronchiectasis - Symptoms, diagnosis, how Temple Health can get rid of your cough

It's a rare disorder that can be treated in multiple ways.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A cough can be a mild irritant or a signal of something more serious, especially when it stretches for weeks on end.

When you have a cough that lasts for some time it is critical that you get an expert opinion.

In 2012, Mary Ingrassia of Newtown, Bucks County, came down with a cough, one that just wouldn't go away.

"Mine started to extend into this whooping cough," she said. "This went on for about 6, 7, 8 weeks."

After getting frustrated with no answers Ingrassia turned to Dr. Victor Kim, a pulmonologist, at Temple Health. It turns out she had bronchiectasis.

"It results in the dilation of the airways that makes it very difficult for the mucus to be cleared," said Dr. Kim.

It's a rare disorder that can be treated in multiple ways.

"We can treat bronchiectasis with multi-faceted aspects of therapy, whether that's antibiotics, bronchodilators, physical devices like the Thera vest or the flutter valve," he said.

Ingrassia's treatment was simple.

"He prescribed a cocktail, I call it, of antibiotics and I took that for a year and a half," she said.

"Her cough and her symptoms had dramatically improved within a couple months," said Dr. Kim.

Now at 77-years-old Ingrassia is living her best life.

"I'm in great shape, that I've been stable for years and life's great," she said.

Dr. Kim stresses this is a difficult disease to diagnose and going to a specialty center is important.

"It can often be mistaken for other common things so but always keep that in the back of your mind," he said.

Dr. Kim cautioned you can be more susceptible for this disease if you suffer from cystic fibrosis, complications from a tumor or a bad case of pneumonia. So be sure to seek expert advice.
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