Does this sound like Bronchiectasis??

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Hi all

Been looking for answers for the last 2 years with regards to coughing.....yes coughing...

Been treated for Asthma, its not that

Been treated for Allergies, its not that

Been treated for PND, its not that

Had so many lung function tests....normal, on the border of slightly low...

Had a few chest xrays, normal

Been to see a Respiratory consultant, they said its pet allergies & a hyper sensitive airways dysfunction.

I cough during my sleep, waking myself up.

I do not know where to turn, fear is lung cancer!

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37 Replies

  • Posted

    Would have thought with x-ray etc they would have picked up if it was cancer. I think they're usually looking for it so hope that is a comfort. Is your cough dry or loose? Do you make a lot of phlegm? There is dry bronchiectasis but it's usually phlegmy. Are you tired and a bit under the weather? All signs of bronchiectasis.

    However in your shoes I would go back to your doctor, tell your fears and perhaps you could see if they would refer you to the local respiratory clinic. A scan might be needed to see if it's bronchiectasis - X-rays don't always pick it up especially if it's scattered about your lungs. I would book a long appointment with a doctor you trust and ask them what you've asked us. All the very best.

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    • Posted

      Thank you 

      I have been to a respiratory consultant and he said it is my cats and having allergies.

      The cough was dry for two years and now its loose but not very, my husband says he can hear the phlegm in my throat, I also snore quite badly and choke..

      Not tired or under the weather, when I breathe in its like icy air (its the only way I can describe it) , I wheeze from my throat when I inhale then the irritation starts in my throat, its awful for me!

      Thanks for your advice

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    • Posted

      If the cough is from your throat it doesn't seem likely to be bronchiectasis. It's a real rattly chest cough - I sound as good as if I'm a heavy smoker! I'm not I hasten to add. My friend has similar symptoms to you but it's asthma and allergies in her case.

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    • Posted

      I wold either get rid of the Cat or live with what you have.

      I can not be even close to a cat and I get all stuffy. I can only be around dogs for less than an hour.

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    • Posted

      It’s wonderful having an open forum but none of us are Doctors. We can only relate our experiences. As I said before, see a real pulmonologist, insist on a CT scan. And get real answers. 

      You’ll make yourself crazy guessing and perhaps it’s nothing. I understand your concern and I’m hoping when I get answers you’ll learn everything about what you have. The more you know, the better you’ll be able to cope.

      Keep your chin up!!!

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  • Posted

    I have bronchiectasis and regard it as under diagnosed. I had same symptoms with GO diagnosing asthna. Only found by a respiratory consultant, an expert in bronchie with a CT scan. The answer for me was courses of azithromycin not clarithromycin, same type of antibiotic but without the vital anti-inflammatory action of az. Some phlegm, a few coughs, occasional flare ups but pretty much cured
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  • Posted

    If you don't have:

    * noticeable phlegm production (say 30ml plus per day) - combined via involuntary coughing/involuntary throat clearances and attempts to clear you lungs by deep breathing combined with voluntary (ok semi-voluntary) coughing it up

    * recurring Infections (recurring includes even if only a couple of them a year) that make you feel so unwell that you need to go to the doctor for relief

    * bouts of tiredness or malaise

    * no colouring up of your sputum by noticeable yellowing/greening/browning of your sputum form baseline of white/silver/light grey

    then I would doubt you have bronchX. A pulmo might not think a CT scan in those circumstances is justified (unless you pay for it). Just my take as a reasonably experienced sufferer who watches the experience of other sufferers and reads the internet extensively. I'm not a medic so no reason why you shouldn't give it a try.

    Here's what one doctor-guidance on-line guidance says about the diagnosis of bronchX:

    "Signs and symptoms

    Clinical manifestations of bronchiectasis are as follows:

    Cough and daily mucopurulent sputum production, often lasting months to years (classic)

    Blood-streaked sputum or hemoptysis from airway damage associated with acute infection

    Dyspnea, pleuritic chest pain, wheezing, fever, weakness, fatigue, and weight loss

    Rarely, episodic hemoptysis with little to no sputum production (ie, dry bronchiectasis)"

    So ... note the last one; maybe you have the "rare" dry bronchX. Worth highlighting that possibility to a pulmonologist and particularly if they have access to a bronchX specialist pulmonologist. I have no idea whether the rare dry version can come without all the other symptoms of a normal brochX diagnosis or not


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  • Posted


    They found mine with at CT scan. 

    See a pulmonologist!

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  • Posted

    Who did your allergies and said you didn't have any? From your wording I suspect you probably live in Great Britain and not the US which is where I live and know the most about but... Here in the US if an allergist does your allergy test they typically do what is called a scratch test on your back. If that is the kind of test you had then I believe it is very possible for you to have allergies that do not show on that type of scratch test. A scratch test is fine for trying to catch a strong allergy but here in the US or at least in my area of the US the ear nose and throat doctors do a different type of allergy test that is more likely to pick up things you're allergic to then the scratch test that the allergist run. The difference is that the ENT's test you at a specific strength of the allergens they wait to see if you react and if you have no reaction to that amount they give you more. They will do this twice, increasing the amount of the allergen and if you have no reaction they deem you not allergic to that group of allergens. You can see the difference with those two types of tests. So you can be allergic to something but it takes a little bit more exposure than what a scratch test would expose you to for you to have a reaction. You should probably not allow your cat(s) in your bedroom any longer. Even if you aren't having an allergy to it it could cause an irritation for you and my make your health worse. So clean up your bedroom as best that you can and don't allow your cat(s) back in.

    There is something else that I thought of when you commented to someone else about the sound of your coughs and snoring. You might ask a doctor to do a sleep study on you. A sleep study will show things other than a problem with sleep apnea. For example when I had a sleep study done I found out that my oxygen saturation got dangerously low (79) when I slept. I don't have sleep apnea but I do breathe very shallow when I sleep so I'm supposed to sleep with oxygen now. And I snore and I have a cough.

    Regardless of what's wrong I hope that you get it figured out and that you can get it treated. Good luck to you.

    PS. When I had a chest X-ray done, my pulmonologist saw just a little tiny something on my x-ray and thought it was probably nothing to worry about. But he wanted to do a CT to rule out anything important and that's how he found my Bronchiectasis. Prior to this diagnosis I had three doctors listen to my chest and all of them said that I sounded clear. And this is when I could hear it myself rattling in my chest. I've had other people say that has happened to them too.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your indepth message very much appreciated - I dont hear rattling in my chest, sometimes a wheeze but it will be gone the next day, I do smoke sad and 37 female

      I have two cats, one of them sleep with me (next to me), not good I guess!

      I will definitely mention this snoring also to the Dr when I see him and explain it all....its so much at once I get into such a state lol, they will probably send me for another chest xray and take it from there.

      The consultant I saw at the Respiratory clinic did no allergy testing!


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    • Posted

      Since you still smoke, many lung docs will blow you off. With all that's going on, seems perhaps you're getting a strong message from the universe that it's time to quit. There are tons of free programs for quitting.

      About the cats: they need to be bathed every 3 weeks. The saliva deposited on their fur with each lick changes chemically over time into a grand irritant. If they are bathed every 3 weeks, you avoid much of what sets off allergic-type reactions. Your house needs a thorough cleaning at that first big bathing of the cats, including all curtains/drapes/bed coverings/pillows/cat beds. Vacuum all beds. Do that once & then keep up with regular cleaning. If your cats go outside, wipe them & the bottoms of their feet with a damp cloth before bed time in order to remove more outside irritants. I lived with my cat for 17 years in peace by keeping her bathed, regained breathing function in my aging aunt's apartment with the massive cleaning & bathing of her 2 long-hairs, and even Himself was able to live with my cat ,,, so long as he immediately washed his hands after petting my cat. He was truly allergic to cats while i just react to the saliva.

      As long as you smoke, your sinuses and lungs stay in perpetual irritation. Add anything else on to that, whether cats or pollen, and the irritation/reaction ratchets up. It is ridiculous that medicos say that you have allergies without testing you, tho as mentioned by someone else, allergy testing isn't an exact science. I no longer bother with it because i'm a delayed reactor: test spots turn red 10-12 hours later & docs pretend that's meaningless when it's not. I take clarinex on a daily basis, & have some nasal sprays i use when needed.

      And let us not forget the litter box! Don't know about the UK but American cat litters produce dust no matter what the ads say unless one uses pine pellets. If boxes aren't tidied regularly, the ammonia, etc., in the urine also irritates some people.

      Ask specifically & firmly for a lung CT. It's how most of us get a DX. Try to stop worrying because as others have said because they've looked for & not seen cancer in every lung xray. That's a good thing!

      ask if you might benefit from a mucolytic/mucus thinner and a long-acting puffer to help w/night coughing. Such an inhaler may take 3 weeks to build up in your system. Also ask for help with quitting cigs.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response. 

      I have read to your response and its very useful, thank you - I clean the house very well and vacuum beds etc...but i still cough and cough during the night and then the day its a wheeze from the throat like I cannot get air and my airways are closing (at work) so not even with the cats which makes me believe its not an allergy.

      I have a brown preventer inhaler and a blue rescue inhaler - the brown one does nothing but the blue one clears the wheeze in my throat for about 12-18 hours then it all starts again. I remember always being allergic to cats, i used to get itchy eyes to the point of nearly going blind from the watery & itchiness, white bumps on my skin if they purred around me etc..... I then moved into a house with two, the issues started about a year after I moved in with them, the wheeze from the throat and then the coughing started.....I then moved away and cant remember if I continued to cough or not, they then joined me in the May again last year but had another xray in March for the cough so do not think they are related - I will see a Dr again and demand a CT scan if they can do this for me to check 100% what is going on in there!

      So many people get Diagnosed with lung cancer even when xrays were clear hence why my constant worry about it all the time!

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    • Posted

      If cat dander has built up, and 2 cats in a few months unbathed build it up, regular cleaning doesn't take care of the buildup. My aunt's place was cleaned weekly by a pro, but her 2 unbathed cats -- i couldn't breathe after one night. With 2 cats, i almost guarantee there's fur on the ceiling even if floors/carpets are vacuumed daily. Her place was much cleaner than mine but my cat was bathed every 3 weeks.

      Yes, GERD is also a big thing they should've checked for.

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    • Posted

      It's all cumulative: smoking + possible reaction to cats/pollen + GERD (& what is the issue on that is "silent" reflux which happens while we sleep & can cause a lot of coughing) + some lung issues + some weight issues. If the docs haven't told you, that racing heart ties into the smoking in a big way. It can also tie into that blue puffer, but sounds like you really need the puffer. Just don't go over the max usage.

      I smoked a pack/day unfiltered for a few decades. Please stop now. There will never be a better time to stop. We all tell ourselves that smoking relaxes us when in fact cigs are a stimulant. I'm overweight too, and still carry some of my quitting cigs extra weight. I enjoyed smoking right up til i quit 11 yrs ago, enjoyed every cig. But my lungs & sinuses didn't enjoy any of it. Nor did the cat nor Himself. And i will repeat: some lung specialists/consultants will not do anything for you until you quit. I may not agree with them but i understand their feeling that they won't waste their time on someone who isn't invested in their own lung health. And they write nasty things about us in the records if we're still smoking/vaping/e-sucking.

      But it's your choice.

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    • Posted

      Many thanks for your message, its true what you saying, just hard to believe!

      You right, I must stop smoking, I have for years but just started again, well a few months ago......I will try

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    • Posted

      Did you give it a good chance? They take about a week or two of taking it ever day for it to start working. They do not work if you only take it when you have symptoms. I assume you took omniprozole, you should also try Nexium. It works differently and so it's worth trying.

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