Bronchiectasis Symptoms

  • Coughing and problem breathing that worsens when lying down
  • Chest pain
  • Large amounts of mucus coughed up on a daily basis
  • Shortness of breath
  • Thickening of skin under nails on hands and feet (clubbing)

Why Does Bronchiectasis Occur?

Bronchiectasis develops due to an infection that causes injury to the lung’s airways. The walls widen and lose their shape becoming flabby. As time goes by without treatment, the person with this disease finds it increasingly difficult to breathe and has a problem clearing mucus from their lungs. Although one might think mucus production is a bad thing, you’d be wrong. When our bodies produce mucus and it gets properly cleared from our lungs, we are ridding our bodies of bacteria, dust and other particles that might be present.

With bronchiectasis, although mucus is produced, it is not cleared. Therefore, bacteria can increase that in turn leads to the constant battle with lung infections. It becomes a vicious cycle. Lung infections that cause more and more damage to the lung’s airways. As with any other lung disease, bronchiectasis can affect the body in other ways due to the fact that oxygen is not properly circulating. As a result, untreated bronchiectasis can lead to heart-related problems such as heart failure.

Infection is not the only way that one can develop bronchiectasis. It can also occur at birth from a defect or injury and even during childhood, if a foreign object was inhaled. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease but damage can be slowed with treatment.

How is Bronchiectasis Diagnosed and Treated?

When determining whether or not a person has bronchiectasis, a physician will need to perform a number of tests. Some of the tests that are ordered to properly diagnose bronchiectasis are:

  • Culture of sputum
  • Chest x-ray
  • Lung function testing

Despite the fact that bronchiectasis is not curable, treatment can help stop the downward spiral of damage to the lungs. In fact, treatment allows people to still live a normal life. Your doctor might suggest the following treatment options for bronchiectasis:

  • Antibiotics to stop the infection.
  • Bronchodilators to open lung passageways.
  • Medication to thin the mucus and expectorant to make you effectively cough.
  • Oxygen and physical therapy.
  • Surgical removal of affected lung area.

Bronchiectasis can develop at any age. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lung disease and want to learn more, please contact us, or call 888-745-6697 to speak to a patient coordinator, who will answer any questions you may have about treatment options.


* Every patient is given a Patient Satisfaction Survey shortly after treatment. Responses to the 11-question survey are aggregated to determine patient satisfaction with the delivery of treatment.

^ Quality of Life Survey data measured the patient’s self-assessed quality of life and measurable quality of improvement at three months of COPD patients.

All claims made regarding the efficacy of Lung Institute's treatments as they pertain to pulmonary conditions are based solely on anecdotal support collected by Lung Institute. Individual conditions, treatment and outcomes may vary and are not necessarily indicative of future results. Testimonial participation is voluntary. Lung Institute does not pay for or script patient testimonials.

As required by Texas state law, the Lung Institute Dallas Clinic has received Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval from MaGil IRB, now Chesapeake IRB, which is fully accredited by the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Program (AAHRPP), for research protocols and procedures. The Lung Institute has implemented these IRB approved standards at all of its clinics nationwide. Approval indicates that we follow rigorous standards for ethics, quality, and protections for human research.

Each patient is different. Results may vary.