Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

What are the Symptoms of Bronchiectasis?

Symptoms include:

  • Coughing (worse when lying down)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abnormal chest sounds
  • Daily production of large amounts of coughed up mucus
  • Chest pain
  • Clubbing (flesh under your fingernails and toenails becomes thicker)

How is Bronchiectasis Detected?

Tests used to detect the disease include:

  • Chest x-ray
  • Lung function tests
  • Sputum culture (test of mucus you cough up)
  • CT scan

How is Bronchiectasis Treated?

Bronchiectasis is not curable. But with proper treatment most people with the disease can have a good quality of life. Treatments include:

  • Antibiotics for infection
  • Bronchodilator medicines to open airways
  • Mucus-thinning medicines
  • Expectorants to help you cough up mucus
  • Physical therapy techniques to help clear mucus
  • Oxygen therapy (if the disease is widespread)
  • Surgery (if the disease is in only one part of the lung or if there is a lot of bleeding)