The initial airway damage that leads to bronchiectasis often begins in childhood. However, signs and symptoms may not appear until months or even years after you start having repeated lung infections.
The most common signs and symptoms of bronchiectasis are:
If your doctor listens to your lungs with a stethoscope, he or she may hear abnormal lung sounds.
Over time, you may have more serious symptoms. You may cough up blood or bloody mucus and feel very tired. Children may lose weight or not grow at a normal rate.
Respiratory failure is a condition in which not enough oxygen passes from your lungs into your blood. The condition also can occur if your lungs can't properly remove carbon dioxide (a waste gas) from your blood.
Respiratory failure can cause shortness of breath, rapid breathing, and air hunger (feeling like you can't breathe in enough air). In severe cases, signs and symptoms may include a bluish color on your skin, lips, and fingernails; confusion; and sleepiness.
Atelectasis is a condition in which one or more areas of your lungs collapse or don't inflate properly. As a result, you may feel short of breath. Your heart rate and breathing rate may increase, and your skin and lips may turn blue.
If bronchiectasis is so advanced that it affects all parts of your airways, it may cause heart failure. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood to meet the body's needs.
The most common signs and symptoms of heart failure are shortness of breath or trouble breathing, tiredness, and swelling in the ankles, feet, legs, abdomen, and veins in the neck.
Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Bronchiectasis, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
September 2, 2014
Gary H. Gibbons
Researcher Brings Medicine One Step Closer to Widely Available Cure for Sickle Cell Disease
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.