Symptoms of bronchiectasis

Bronchiectasis and other respiratory conditions may co-exist, such as COPD and asthma. However, bronchiectasis patients may have one or more of the following most common symptoms.


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  • Cough - with increased production of mucus more than 70% of patients will report this. The amount of mucus can be variable, from a teaspoon to egg cupful or more.
  • Frequent chest infections.
  • Mucus -Some patients will produce mucus only when they have  chest infections.  Colour of mucus can vary, indicating signs of infection.
  • Breathlessness on physical exertion in approximately 60% of patients.
  • Chest tightness.
  • Pleurisy – inflammation between the layers of pleura (lining of lungs and rib cage), which is often recurrent, with vague chest ache occurring in 20-40% of patients. It often comes along with an acute infection.
  • Fatigue at some point in the course of their condition is reported by approximately 73% of patients.
  • Blood-tinged mucus - 55-92% of patients may have blood tinged mucus at some point. Hemoptysis (coughing up larger amounts of blood, less common).
  • Weight loss is also common because of increased calorific requirements with coughing and clearing secretions plus the body is fighting acute or chronic infections.
  • Urinary incontinence occurs more frequently in women than in their peers without bronchiectasis. This is due to chronic coughing which puts the pelvic floor under more strain. Control of incontinence can be helped by physiotherapy to improve cough control and by pelvic floor exercises.
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