NCFBE is a disease of the lungs, where the airways (called the bronchi and bronchioles) become enlarged (widen) and this may make breathing more difficult.
It can be caused by an infection or another condition – sometimes the cause is not known. In patients with NCFBE, the body’s defense system (immune system) overreacts to a foreign substance in the airways (e.g. an infection with a bacteria or virus) and causes permanent damage to the tissues surrounding the airways, causing them to widen.
This makes it more likely that the patient may suffer more infections. Each infection leads to further reaction by the immune system and could cause damage to the lungs.