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

Bronchiectasis

Question:

If known, what caused your case of bronchiectasis? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: ALi M , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 11

I was diagnosed a couple of months ago with minor central bronchiectasis. I had never had a chest infection if any kind, then 2 years ago I got pneumonia. I have been mostly ill for the past two years. Now that I am on inhalers and mucus thinners I feel a lot better some of the time. However, the 2 week antibiotic courses help, but then I get another infection a few weeks later and am back on the antibiotics again. Interestingly my last sputum culture came back showing only Candida, nothing else.

Comment from: Amanda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 18

I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis 6 years ago after having a really bad chest infection that needed back to back antibiotics. I also had pleurisy (very painful). I had whooping cough when I was a child and then a few really bad chest infections which led to a CT scan that indicated I had bronchiectasis on my right lung. I was also diagnosed with celiac disease 10 years ago so I was eating gluten most of my life which may have contributed to a low immune system.

Comment from: JimmyT, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: February 27

I have been treated for COPD since 2000. In 2014, I had two bouts of pneumonia back to back resulting in x-ray images, interpreted as pneumonia scarring. Turns out, the x-rays were showing bronchiectasis, which a radiologist discovered on a CT scan just recently. Meanwhile, I have been plagued daily with sticky mucus plugs which often are very difficult to get past the vocal chords. They lodge in my throat and I partially suffocate for hours. Hydration and keeping active (walking) help bring the stuff up. Afterwards, I can breathe again.

Comment from: caustin, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

I was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension 2 years ago but it was caused by interstitial lung disease (ILD) and that was caused by myositis, an autoimmune disease. I have terrible coughing spells, and they are very productive and my pulmonary doctors say it is caused by bronchiectasis which is caused by all of the above. The only thing that seems to help is the cough medicine Tussinex and using a nebulizer. I have used the cough medicine for years with no side effects but I do take a very low dose.

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

I was diagnosed 3 years ago with bronchiectasis. I have rheumatoid arthritis (RA) since I was 14, so over 40 years. I was told that I probably acquired bronchiectasis due to the RA. I believe it was Enbrel that caused the problems. I repeatedly got pneumonia which eventually caused the bronchiectasis.

Comment from: Barbfit, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis in 2013 after 9 months of going to the doctor for just feelings of being unwell. He would put me on antibiotics, I would feel better but ultimately feel ill again. I started to get a bad cough and random intense sweating that left me achy and tired. One day, out of nowhere I started to cough up scary amounts of thick blood. I went to the emergency room and they finally did an x-ray which led to CT scan. A bronchoscopy was done and after 6 weeks MAI (Mycobacterium avium-intracellulare infection) or (MAC) was found and I was referred to an infectious disease doctor. I was on triple antibiotic treatment for 18 months (Zithromax, ethambutol, and rifampin). I had CT scan every 6 months. After 18 months I felt good but soon felt unwell again. The doctor kept telling me it was just the flu. One day, we were looking at CT scan and I said 'what's this.' He says, that was my bronchiectasis. No one told me I had even had it! In 2017, still feeling unwell, I started to develop a lot of mucus, my coughing increased and I felt my breathing was labored. My husband encouraged me to change doctors and I found that we had one of the best centers for bronchiectasis/MAC just 2 hours away. Upon research on their site, I kept seeing that routine sputum samples were part of protocol to make sure no infection had started and that I should be doing daily airway clearance to keep infection at bay and to prevent further damage. I was shocked to learn that for almost 3 years I hadn't been tested or doing treatment. Anyway, I went to the facility and it turns out I was still testing positive for MAC and put me on a PICC line of amikacin for 4 months along with the trio of oral antibiotics. So far I've been MAC free and I'm now on a daily regimen to keep my lungs clear. The takeaway here is if you don't feel good about your doctor's knowledge of this disease, find one that is! It's a tricky disease and a specialist in this condition can be your lifesaver.

Comment from: littledebs, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 22

I had aspergillus in my late teen years, then I got cystic bronchiectasis in my 40th year with the pseudomonas bacteria in my lungs. I wish researchers could find a way to kill the pseudomonas. I go on IV antibiotics for 4 to 6 weeks, a couple times a year. I have all the symptoms including the coughing up of blood. It is a struggle every day to do the basics. I hope someone will figure out a cure soon.

Comment from: flora, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: November 06

My bronchiectasis was caused by GERD and a hiatal hernia with the stomach acid going up my esophagus to vocal cords to bronchial tubes.

SLIDESHOW

COPD Foods to Boost Your Health - COPD Diet Tips See Slideshow
Comment from: Scott, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 20

My bronchiectasis was caused by ulcerative colitis.

Comment from: sybil, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I have been diagnosed with bronchiectasis. I had pneumonia 2 or 3 times before I was a year old.

Comment from: Skatscat, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I have alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency, leaving my lungs less protected.

Comment from: fl0wer, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: June 13

I had whooping cough and measles as a child and bronchitis several times in my teens. I had pneumonia when I was 24 years old caused by the "golden staph" and I was in the hospital for 6 weeks. In my 40s, I developed deep vein thrombosis (DVT) with clots that went to my lungs, confirmed by bronchoscopy. I was doing well until my little dog died and I have since had several flare-ups which have been controlled with antibiotics. Now I have a great deal of trouble clearing my lungs to I can breathe. My quality of life is so poor.

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

I have had asthma and allergies my entire life. Often times, when I caught a cold it would progress to bronchitis. I was exposed to lots of secondhand smoke as a child. In the past three years, my asthma has progressed to severe, persistent asthma and I have been hospitalized for severe asthma on several occasions, usually with infection. My thought is that years of significant lung infections have caused bronchiectasis.

QUESTION

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) is the same as adult-onset asthma. See Answer
CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors