what's the difference between COPD and Bronchiectasis?

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My Pulmonologist acts like I have COPD ... giving me inhalers that have FDA approval for COPD but not (yet) approved for Bx.  I am confused... anyone here have info ?

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  • Posted

    Mimi,

    I just saw my pulmonary speicalist this morning.  I asked him about if you have Bronchiectasis can you also have asthma?  Does Bronchiectasis include asthma and/or COPD?  He was rather vague with giving me an answer. He is not sure which causes which.

    I have bronchiectasis and I feel I can get most of the mucus up, but it's my airways that seems to tighten and I get breathless a lot. MOst people on this forum have the same issues, breathlessness.

    He said the tightness comes from the allergies and asthma.

    COPD comes from damage to your lungs, due to unhealthy environments, smoking, long term exposure to allergens, childhood illnesses, etc.

    The difference betwen having COPD and Bronchiectasis, is by way of a CT scan, Bx shows weakening of the airways. COPD does not. 

    I think that asthma is caused by allergens and COPD is caused by damage to the lungs. And as stated before Bx is diagnosed by a CT Scan and causes weakening of the airways. That is how I have been diagnosed over the past 28 yrs. First asthma, then COPD then Bx.

    I also feel that doctors use the term COPD and asthma interchangable.

    Hope other people respond to your question with more information, Beth 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your repy.  This  is so interesting because so many of us with Bx has so many different  issues.  I was tested at Duke Med. Center and learned that I  do not have asthma or COPD but have Bx and NTM.  No wonder local doctors are confused.  I think sometimes they want a patient to have a issue for which they have a simple solution.  

       

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    • Posted

      Mimi,

      Since your doctor said that you don't have asthma or COPD, do you have a lot of breathlessness with just the Bx? Even with just BX, I would think that if you didn't get all the mucus up, that would lower lung function and you could still have a problem with breathlessness.

      As you stated ' this is so interesting' trying to find out what causes what.

      My specialist said I have allergies (which I have not addressed for years.  25 yrs ago I did recieve allergy shots for several years), so I'm going to start to take otc allergy meds to see if it helps with the inflammation of my airways.

      Hopefully, other people will add to this disscusion , Beth

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    • Posted

      I have breathlessness but never panic type loss of breath.  I can only walk a short distance and I feel "out of breath".   I also have NTM so that complicates the issue.  I have been tested and only have mild allergies to birch, dust.  I have had sinus problems for years after a Dentist left matter from a root canal in my sinus area.... it took 15 years to discover that. 

      I can get muscus up after breathing exercise, purcusion vest, nebulizer by coughing. 

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    • Posted

      mimi,

      I told my pulmomary specialist the other day about my breathlessness, even thuo I can get my lungs cleared.  He started me on an inhaler steriod, Dulera.  One puff twice a day.  It has helped a lot. I don't wake up in the middle of the night breathless needing my rescue inhaler any more.

      Have you tried a steriod inhaler? Beth

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    • Posted

      Best to Google it for details.  NTM  stands for Non-tuberculosis Myco Bacteria Intracelular Avium.  It is not common but becoming more so.... I was diagnosed at Duke Medical Center  after I had been diagnosed with Bronchiectasis.  Local doctors are usually not aware of the NTM and want to treat it as the Lung disease the are familiar with.   You may find it interesting.  I believe many people with Bx may have it especially older women.
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