©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Bronchiectasis

Question:

What symptoms have you experienced with bronchiectasis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Lili, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis seven years ago. At that time I had very few symptoms. I had a CT scan a few months ago and it showed worsening lungs. I have mucus plugging. I am very tired and the most worrisome symptom is chest and back pain. I have been in the emergency room three times over the past year, thinking it was cardiac related. Some doctors have told me that bronchiectasis doesn't cause chest pain. It does. I use an Acapella valve for clearance, twice daily. I also use albuterol.

Comment from: Lili, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 15

I sometimes have chest pain. At times, I don't cough at all. This month I am suffering from a pretty rough exacerbation of bronchiectasis and I am producing a lot of mucus. My cough sounds very hollow and strained. I am on a ten day antibiotic. I use Incruse and sometimes albuterol. I feel like I am progressing and it's pretty scary. I've been in the emergency room a few times over the past couple of years because of chest pain but it comes back to the lungs.

Comment from: aries, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 04

I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis June of this year. I can't believe it because I have no signs and symptoms. I'm working in the field of health, that's why I'm asking myself why I have this kind of health problem. I'm still searching and reading about bronchiectasis. I underwent a sputum exam (negative result), and many laboratory tests, chest x-ray, and chest CT scan. I had occasional cough with whitish phlegm.

Comment from: frankster, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 19

I have been coughing up yellow or light green, or rust colored phlegm. Most of the time, the phlegm has blood in it. Because of bronchiectasis my lungs are sore and hurt when I breathe in. I have shortness of breath and my breathing is labored. I cough and choke in the middle of the night and am awakened. I get very fatigued and sleepy, fever or temperature, sweating, chills, and usually joint and muscle aches. The fatigue and shortness of breath is so bad, that it is an extreme effort to do simple tasks, such as getting up to put my clothes on, brush my teeth, etc. I feel confined to the bed. I am out of breath and dizzy after climbing steps up to my bedroom in my townhouse. Loads of fun, huh!

Comment from: Djohn, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 26

I've had diffuse bronchiectasis symptoms for 40 years; treated for atypical asthma and officially diagnosed via CT 5 years ago. Although classified as mild, cylindrical bronchiectasis my symptoms are often severe and paradoxical. I may stop breathing momentarily but my oxygen saturation levels stay fairly normal. I rarely sleep through the night and have taken sleeping pills for many years to keep working. I take Inhaled steroid/bronchodilator (have tried most of both) with limited benefit, some improvement. Albuterol nightly via inhaler helps. Air quality really affects my breathing; anything beyond 'code green' means trouble. Exercise has kept me functional with limited progression of lung damage per se. I try to avoid outside exercise on bad-air days. I have recently added deep breathing for symptom control with promising results.

Comment from: Harriet, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 16

The bronchiectasis symptoms I have had are coughing, shortness of breath and light headedness. I am also very fatigued and on occasion very dizzy.

Comment from: Emma, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 23

My lungs produce a significant amount of sputum per day. I had to retire because of bronchiectasis. I use my nebulizer 2 times per day and the vibration vest one time. I wake up at least 2 times per week choking. I also have MRSA in my lungs which makes me more prone to infection. I recently started attending a Himalayan salt room 1 to 2 times per week and can breathe much better and I also hope it will rid my lungs of all bacteria. I currently take antibiotics to control infection. I fortunately do not experience pain but the amount of sputum my lungs produce is stressful.

Comment from: karenpiemo, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

I"ve been suffering from what has been bronchiectasis for a few years. My symptoms are rather odd. In winter I"m often unwell, very weak, sometimes with chest pains when taking deep breaths but usually no cough, no mucus! CAT scans show that the condition of my lungs is worsening. This third time that I"ve been unwell this winter I"ve been given Zithromax to be taken over a 6 months period. I am worried if I will develop resistance to this and other antibiotics.

Comment from: CATHRYN, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 16

I have severe pain in the right side of my chest every night when I sleep and when I try to get a good breath it hurts so bad that I have to grab myself and kind of hold myself just to get that breath. I have been told by my family physician after a CT scan that she sees bronchiectasis. But my symptoms are not the same as those given here. I don't have any spit up or blood spit up, just the chest pain and shortness of breath at times.

QUESTION

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the same as adult-onset asthma. See Answer
Comment from: Pammy58, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 13

I have had the diagnosis of bronchiectasis for several years; what lung I have left is scarred, from repeated pneumonias. It did not surprise me that I had problems, but had not heard of bronchiectasis before the diagnosis. Having a good lung doctor, and asking questions, along with taking your medicines daily, are just some of the things to keep us well; also, have your doctor talk to you about what he/she sees on the x-ray. I have my doctor pull the x-ray up so I can see it also. I use Flovent, take Mucinex 600 mg twice daily, and have a rescue inhaler with me at all times. I am an allergy sufferer, so I am on Singulair and nasal spray, along with flushing out my sinuses with Simply Saline twice a day. Do I have some rough times breathing? Sometimes, and also have a nebulizer to use for those rough times. I recently received an oximeter as a present, because I wanted to check my oxygen levels; the cheapest price is on Amazon. My levels are still good enough to not require oxygen, and I want to keep them that way as long as I can. No, I am not a smoker; my COPD was caused by another illness that I inherited, not diagnosed soon enough to not cause damage; I lost two-thirds of my right lung because of it not working anymore. We don't need but one lung to live anyway.

Comment from: helle, Female (Patient) Published: May 20

I have had bronchiectasis for 10 years. I now have been told that I have mycobacterium avium-intracellulare infection (MAI). I have been given an antibiotic to take three times a week, indefinitely. I have lots of phlegm and have to get up during the night to clear it. I'd like to know more about MAI and how to best look after it.

Comment from: mike NG, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: May 06

I would like to know what's new with this bronchiectasis self-care. I've never had serious side effects or symptoms of the problem, but it was picked up on a hospital X-ray recently.

SLIDESHOW

COPD Foods to Boost Your Health - COPD Diet Tips See Slideshow
CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors