How Does Bronchiectasis Affect Patients?

In this video from St. Luke’s Hospital, Dr. Andrew LaBelle discusses how the chronic lung disease bronchiectasis affects patients.

MORE: Nine common symptoms of bronchiectasis

Dr. LaBelle explains that bronchiectasis is a condition that dilates the airways in the lungs, causing abnormal cells. When the airways in the lungs become widened, they produce excess mucus. This overproduction of mucus makes patients susceptible to dangerous lung infections like pneumonia.

Most cases of bronchiectasis are caused by genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, but there are other reasons why patients develop the disease including COPD, childhood diseases such as whooping cough, bacterial infections, and autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s disease.

MORE: A study shows several associations between bronchiectasis and COPD

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.


  1. Allison mccabe says:

    My life as it was has ended rapidly over an exhausting 2 year period have just been diagnosed with bronchietasis and I would honestly have to say the depression and anxiety have been the most debilitating I’ve lost everyone and everything that was once my beautiful life 😞

    • julia richardson says:

      Allison I feel exactly the same… what few friends I have abandoned me.. and only living family too..I am wondering how you are doing now and what you are doing to try to make you feel better?

    • Sharen McKinney-Alston says:

      Dear Michelle,
      It would be greatly appreciated if you could share how you changed your diet and what other steps you took to decrease your symptoms.
      My doctors really wants me to use Prilosec and other Proton Pump inhibitors but I took myself off after a few years because of the side effects. I stopped eating tomatoes, peppers and citrus fruits which do exacerbate GERD.

      Thank you for the time you take to outline your protocol.

  2. Christina. Jay says:

    I have had bronchiectasis for ten years I am in and out of hospital with frequent infections and become very tired is this a sympton others share Imdo try to keep upbeat but sometimes it is very hard.

  3. Susan Guthrie says:

    I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis twelve years ago. In the intervening years, I have drastically changed my diet (more veggies, a lot less meat, and very few desserts) and exercise regime and meditation. I’m pretty vigilant with self-care and that has helped a lot. Nothing could have ever prepared me for the change in the quality of my life. Difficulty breathing (breathlessness) is my almost constant companion (not friend). And while I’ve learned to accept it, I am never at peace with that. I use small amounts of pain medication to ease the discomfort almost daily, but there are side effects (memory issues, balance, cognitive functioning, fear of dependency). I almost wish (but not really) that more people had this disease so that there was greater understanding of how hard it is to live with it. And I don’t even have a particularly bad case!

  4. Ivan Novacic says:

    Was diagnosed about 2 years ago with tasis, but suffered for many years before the docs could actually find what was wrong with me,it is a debilitating disease, particularly when you aquire an infection, have been feeling particularly unwell these last 3-4 weeks, so am trying out a saline nebulizer for the first time, after just one dose, am feeling a little better, so hopefully it will stay on the improve, if you have`nt tried a nebulizer yourself, perhaps have chat with your doc about it, it just might be the best thing you can do! Antibiotics are damaging to the kidneys and liver as i have found out, so if we can use them as little as possible, then all the better!

    • I have bronchiectasis and NTM. I use a nebulizer every day, first time with albuterol, to open the airways (it also gives me energy), followed by sodium chloride. I then use an aerobika device to get rid of mucus. It made a tremendous difference and I am able to clear my lungs fairly well.
      I also did pulmonary rehabilitation, and now continue with a pulmonary maintenance program. These made a big difference also
      (improved stamina, posture, breathing).

      • Lee2g says:

        Yes, you and I are similar. But depression is a major negative feeling to contend with. Knowing that we can never be cured and as time increases we steadily decline and die.

      • Barbara Stanley says:

        Dear Anne, I would be so grateful if you could kindly tell us what a pulmonary maintenance program consists of, as well as the pulmonary rehabilitation you did. That sounds as though it would be very useful for the rest of us who are struggling daily with mucus clearance.

  5. marge says:

    I have had illness since childhood 50 years ago – daily postural drainage and physical activity are most important along with steam in personal shower (bacteria lingers in gym steam rooms and are too risky for a weak respiratory system) my concerns are with 50 years of clearing, the weakening cartilage or the narrowing of airways. Can a human trachea collapse?

  6. M. Radicic says:

    Do you have hemoptysis, and if you do, how often?
    I usually have one episode a year, usually at the end of winter.
    I almost choked once because I had a large blood clot that needed to be expelled and I couldn’t breath enough air so as to coug it out.

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