Living With Bronchiectasis | American Lung Association

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Living With Bronchiectasis

What to Expect

Bronchiectasis is a long-term condition with symptoms that need to be managed over many years.

  • Needing to take antibiotics for 1 to 2 weeks during exacerbations
  • Occasional hospital stays for IV antibiotics, especially if your lungs are infected by difficult-to-treat bacteria or other microbes
  • Lung function tests, chest X-rays, or CT (CAT) scans
  • Mucus collection to check for infection as needed
  • Possibly bronchoscopy, a procedure performed under sedation by lung doctors (pulmonologists) to directly inspect the bronchi with a flexible camera

Managing the Disease

Bronchiectasis is a chronic condition with repeated exacerbations that can develop slowly over a few weeks or rapidly over a few days. It is important to incorporate self-care strategies into daily life, including taking oral and inhaled medications, performing mucus clearance techniques, and getting plenty of rest.

Finding Support

Several bronchiectasis support groups have been organized online and can be found through a simple online search. The Lung Association recommends patients and caregivers join our Living with Lung Disease Support Community to connect with others facing this disease. You can also call the Lung Association's Lung Helpline at 1-800-LUNGUSA to talk to a trained respiratory professional who can help answer your questions and connect you with support.


    This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.


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