6 Tips for Managing Bronchiectasis


If you’ve recently been diagnosed with bronchiectasis, there are ways you can help slow down the progression of the disease and improve your quality of life. We’ve put together a list of tips to help improve your life with bronchiectasis using information from the National Institute of Health.

Avoid Lung Infections

Speak to your doctor about getting annual vaccinations against flu and pneumonia, and avoid spending time with people who are sick with colds, coughs, and the flu. Get into good hygiene habits to avoid picking up bacteria and germs.

Read 10 tips to help you get through cold and flu season.


Stop Smoking

Smoking will only speed up the progression of bronchiectasis. If you’re struggling to quit smoking on your own, speak to your healthcare team for advice and practical help.

Characteristics of bronchiectasis patients differ depending on the underlying cause. Find out more. 


Avoid Lung Irritants

Where possible, avoid being in environments with secondhand smoke, pollution, chemical fumes, dust particles and other substances which may be harmful to lungs.

Find out more about the six known causes of bronchiectasis.


Eat a Healthy Diet

Eat a healthy balanced diet with less processed foods and more whole foods. Avoid excessive salt, sugar and saturated fat and eat plenty of fiber in the form of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. Aim to bring your weight to an acceptable level.

Study reveals the risk factors identified for bronchiectasis in COPD patients. Read more here.



Regular exercise will improve overall health and also help to loosen mucus in the lungs. Gentle exercise such as swimming and walking are ideal for patients with bronchiectasis.

Discover eight interesting facts about the lungs.


Get Support

Having a chronic lung disease can be frightening and you may not know who to turn to for advice. Support groups, either local or online, can offer guidance and reassurance for patients, as well as an environment to share experiences.

Speak to your healthcare team if you’re suffering from anxiety or depression as this will need to be treated alongside your bronchiectasis.

Find out more about the pathology of bronchiectasis.

Bronchiectasis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


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  1. John White says:

    I have had bronchiectasis affecting 50% of both lungs all my life exacerbation always follows after spending time in doctors and physio waiting area’s and any crowds as well as shops and public transport where bacteria is spread by other sick people. The result to me means being confined to my bed with breathlessness, rhinitis and lungs filling with infected mucus also a two week antibiotic course that will fail to respond if used too often. Walking near the sea as often as I can is the very best exercise but the group physio with other sufferers is a problem.

    • Madeline Boudreau says:

      I would love to talk to some one who has bronchiectasis..I was just diagnosed 2 weeks ago,,,very devastating,,

      • Imelda sheriff says:

        Hi I have bronchiectasis for 2 year’s don’t go out much because of the coughing,shortness of breath pain in my chest I have 3 inhaler but don’t do a lot for me, today 3rd of October I am in bed not feeling good same as yesterday had two chest infection in to months,

      • Chloe says:

        Hi Madeline. I too have bronc. I was on a regiment of antibiotics for 18 months. Many pills but made sure I took them. I feel much better now and am off meds. Dr says I should be good for about 15 years.

        • Amar Sihota......Edmonton, Alberta, Canada says:

          Hi Chloe, I was very much interested in your response. I do suffer from bronchiectasis just finished 10 days antibiotics It did help some but not completely. My coughing fits were going away but not it is back, not that often though. I on three inhalers too. Sometimes I have to keep coughing till some mucus comes out. Sometimes I feel shortness of breath, then it goes away. I try to do deep breathing but it is not easy. I am 70 yr.old, never smoked a day in my life. Please email me when you have time. Look forward to some help hints to deal with the problem. Thanks in advance for your help.love, amar

      • Dee Burk says:

        Hi Madeline! I too was just diagnosed with brochiectasis and have been depressed and discouraged with lack of definitive answers. My case is mild but CT scan does show mucous plugs. Terrible cough that has cause 2 fractured ribs.

      • Gillian Allison says:

        i have been diagnosed over. the last few weeks and i must say i am frightened, night time and early morning is the worst time for me i cannot breath properly and it terrifies me

      • Rodolfo says:

        I been lung sick aince I was 7 yrs. old. Diagnosticated Broncho… like 20 yrs. ago.
        I’m 61, having an almost normal life, cannot dive but I do long walks and some light sports.
        Surprised that I know my grandsons, Happy with my life.
        Goog luck!

    • Mel sheriff says:

      Hi John my name is mel i have bronchiectasis for about 2 year’s i don’t go out no more with all the coughing people look and make remarks,I have 3 inhaler but don’t seem to do nothing, in bed at the moment not feeling to good.

      • Cliff Kent says:

        I have had brochiectasis for over 20 years. I am now doing postural breathing 3 times a day for 40 minutes. It helps and is the only way I can almost lead a normal life.

          • Cliff Kent says:

            Postural breathing is when you lay down with your head much lower than your feet. This means you need to pack cushions under you. Breath in and hold breath 4 seconds. Breath out.Repeat this 4 times then clear lungs. Repeat this for maybe 30 minutes or whatever is necessary morning and evening. When I have a cold I may have it do it three times a day.

  2. Alison says:

    Hi Cliff,
    I too have bronchiectasis. Diagnosed 18 months ago. Just recovered from a two week bout of infection, hot on the heals of previous one in October.
    I worry that I will loose my job as I sometimes cough quite a bit at work. However, I’m currently on an international drug trial for Bronchiectasis, hoping that this new drug will lead to better treatment for sufferers like us in the future. In the meantime I would love to know more about the “postural” breathing that you do.

    • Simon Cooper says:

      I’ve had bronchiectasis for over 2 years, I’m 52. I’m interested in the international drug trial and whether it has helped.

  3. John says:

    I use a Himalayan salt pipe, as the name implies, it is a form of inhaler filled with Himalayan pink salt, which is a purer form of salt. It has anti bacterial properties which help to prevent the mucus from becoming infected. Can be purchased cheaply online from eBay, Amazon etc. I use it in conjunction with breathing excercises, e.g. Lie on a
    pillow, take eight breaths followed by 4 very deep breaths, then 5 or ten minutes just breathing the salt in. Repeat as necessary according to your schedule.

    • Stanna says:

      John, do you use the Himalayan salt pipe every day? I’ve had three infections that included blood in the sputum…one in November, one in December, and another now. I’ve got to do something to stop these infections. Thanks!

      • Ann says:

        We have a salt room in this area. Himalayan salt. I have bronchiectasis and MAC diagnosis 5 years ago. Any time I feel like I am coming down with a cold or have an increase in secretions creating me to cough I go to the salt room. It has made a significant difference in my respiratory status. I am thrilled to state I have not been on a antibiotic or a steroid for 3 years. I also have purchased a nebulizer machine and will utilize 1 cc of saline to keep my secretions thin. If I should get a cold I also have a percussions vest that vibrates my chest. This has made a significant difference in my life

    • Karen Jones says:

      Thanks for this advice. My Dad has Bronchiestasis and he is 82, so Ive just bought him a Salt Pipe off Amazon.

    • Anne says:

      Hello John,
      Just reading your post about the salt inhaler.
      My husband has bronchiectasis he is only 40 but struggles all and every winter with infections and antibiotics don’t really help. He was diagnosed 7 years ago so has been fighting for a long time.
      Just wondering how you get on with your inhaler. Do you get any infections at all now?

  4. Bean says:

    Hi all,
    I’m another bronchiectasis sufferer. I am 63. Diagnosed about 18 months ago, I’ve been ok until recently. I have a dog and walk about 5 miles per day. This helps. I also do breathing exercises as instructed by a physio. These are simple,if a little tiring. First one is to breathe in as deeply as possible three times. Then again breathe deeply, but hold it in for 15 seconds, again 3 three times I would advise you to try it if you can. When I started these, I could only hold my breath for about 5 seconds. Thes exercises make your lungs and tubes more elastic, less stiff, thus allowing air to go through the system easier. It won’t cure me, but will result in a better lifestyle. I do it at least 3 times per day.Good luck to all!

  5. vr says:

    I have bronchiectasis for all my life. I didn’t even know that I have bronchiectasis until the age of 27. When I learned that this is bronchiectasis and not reversible.

    I tried to stay active and I started run, I did my first marathon at 35, I keep doing half marathons and Marathons. I run 4 miles alternative days. Now I am 44, never been in doctors office for last 10 years.

    I cleaned up my mucus in the afternoon and evening, mostly happening before my lunch and dinner time.

    It is very uncomfortable but god gave to get through it.

    • Nicola says:

      How did you clean up your mucus?? I also run too (half marathons not full) – I’m struggling with the shortness of breath and the endless coughing at the moment. Any advise as to how to clean it up would be great!!

    • Anne says:

      Hello VI,
      Just wondering if you can share more on how you manage your brochiectasis? I notice you write you haven’t been in a doctors office for 10 years… you must be doing something right.
      Could you please share how you are doing this would love some advise for my husband we are at our wits end fighting infections.

  6. IDA DICK says:

    vr, how did you clean up your mucus? I was diagnosed two weeks ago and think I am going to the wrong pulmonolgist. I think what I have is mild, don’t really know. trying to do what I can to stay in good physical form. thx.id

    • Devbaj says:

      I am waiting for results to see if I do in fact have bronchiectasis. My Pulmonologist said that if I do, he wants to start me on the “Vest”. You wear it twice a day and it oscillates which helps to loosen the mucous.
      He has had a number of patients using it with great success. The whole idea is to get the mucous up and out beacause as we know the longer it stays in the lungs the better chance of infection…Ask your MD about it. Best of Luck!

  7. Dee V. says:

    I am 70 years old with several breathing and lung issues. I have been on a Jackson 5 trach for 9 years due to having a very small airway that collapses. I also have CVID which means I must do infusions every 3 weeks to help my immune system. A year ago I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis. Needless to say, I feel like I’ve got the trifecta of lung disease. We relocated to the coastal low country to try and help. I also use a percussion vest twice a day along with several other nebulizer inhalants. The vest helps a lot for removal of mucus plugs. It definitely plays with your mind. To do the most basic things is monumental to me.

  8. MRS. PADMAJA says:

    I was diagnoised with braonchictasis by lot of x rays,blood tests,repeated antibiotics at last by ct scan they conformed bronchiactasis and new asthama and adilactasis.I dont know all of these.But at work place they have been using some kind of sprayers, with that smell i got chest infection and all this happened.I was on medical sick for 8 months.I even dont know when I am able to work.lot of nasal sprays,sybicort spray,and asthama spray lot of medicines.I never get cough but shortness of breath,chest tightness,nat able to walk,talk,I dont get sleep up untill 2am and I cant get up in the morning 11 am.Very week and fatieg.
    I havent started any excersise due to tiredness.

  9. Balachandar says:

    My neighbor is suffering from bronchiectasis. She is 40 years old and weighs only 21kg. The weight has drastically come down in the past one year.She uses oxygen concentrator. How to gain weight. Please advise.

  10. Pat says:

    When I have infection or flare-up, I nebulize colloidal silver that I make at home with my own equipment, so I don’t have to use antibiotics as much. For some reason it’s been like pulling teeth to get pulmonologist to Rx meds/treatments. Took over 2 yrs to get him to Rx a steroidal inhaler, which helps a lot. I also use albuterol inhaler. If I zip ask for Z-pac, I have to do office visit and then it’s only for the 5 day Z-pack.

  11. Patricia says:

    Did your pulmonologist suggest the nebulizer with colloidal silver. i have not heard of that. I use a albuterol and saline solution (they both come in vials) in my nebulizer. the pulmonologist prescribed Levofloxacin for when I start feeling ill. Once the nebulizer treatment is completed I use the vest and flutter valve.

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