Dear Reader: Although bronchiectasis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, are related, they are actually two separate conditions. As the name suggests, bronchiectasis is a disease of the bronchial tubes, or bronchi. In someone living with bronchiectasis, chronic inflammation has caused the bronchial tubes to become scarred, thickened and widened. The result is repeated lung infections, which further damage the structures of the lung and make it more difficult to breathe. The most common cause of bronchiectasis is damage to the airways.