Bronchiectasis - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of bronchiectasis?

Bronchiectasis develops over a prolonged period of time.

Common symptoms include recurrent cough and sputum production. Usually the mucus is clear, but it may be bloody due to bronchial wall injury or green or yellow if infection is present. Shortness of breath and fatigue develop as lung function decreases. Wheezing may or may not be present.

If the disease progresses or if it is poorly controlled, the amount of work required to breathe increases and weight loss and diminished quality of life may occur.

Bronchiectasis may occur due to another underlying disease. Symptoms of that primary disease may also be present. For example, a patient with tuberculosis may have bloody sputum, fever, chills, and night sweats. A person with Crohn's disease may have abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Congenital bronchiectasis often becomes apparent because of recurrent pneumonia.

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See what others are saying

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.

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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.

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