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Bronchiectasis and avoiding chest infections

johnkent profile image
24 Replies

Hi all, is it wise to avoid public transport to limit the risk of catching chest infections if you have Bronchiectasis? someone I was chatting to said they had been advised too and I was wondering if this is sound advice based on any research

24 Replies
Littlepom profile image

I try to avoid close contact with large groups of people and anybody who obviously has a cold or virus. This includes public transport which I have not used for many years due to anxiety problems anyway. . If I took this to extremes I would never go anywhere and so I am selective. I keep a mask with me and use it when out shopping or at the theatre if I feel vulnerable. I also put Nasal Guard Cold and Flu Blocker around my mouth and nose.

johnkent profile image
johnkent in reply to Littlepom

Thank you Littlepom for your reply, has any medical professional told you to avoid public transport ?

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to johnkent

I have had bronch since I was 3 and am 72 now. Avoiding situations where I am likely to catch other people's germs is common sense when living with bronch. Quite frankly I don't put much weight on the advice of 'medical professionals'. I was told never to go to hot steamy countries or have children amongst other things. I have done that and more and have had a very full life. Looking after oneself as sensibly as possibly and according to one's instincts is the wisest thing.

santisuk profile image
santisuk in reply to Littlepom

Hi Littlepom

"Never go to hot steamy countries". I've lived the last 13 years in Thailand. My infections have often been picked up when back on visit to the UK.

I haven't had a single infection for 2 years now (previous rate was 2-5 a year) - am thinking about dropping my azithromycin and carbocysteine. I don't feel the need to perform daily sputum clearing excercises. Done very occasionally on an as-needed basis

Thank you Covid - Thais have been very disciplined in wearing masks - as have I (double-masking enthusiast). I think I will be wearing my masks on public transport and similar high risk venues til I knock on the Pearly Gates. The Covid downside is that I've missed my reviews at Papworth. There's only one expert in bronchX in the entire country as far as I can tell!

[PS. HU, after an uncalled for break of several years, started sending me the daily e-mails again a coupla weeks ago]

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to santisuk

Hi santisuk. It's nice to hear from you again and good to learn that you are doing so well The rational behind the warning not to go to hot steamy countries seems to have come from the fact that pseudomonas and some other bugs love this atmosphere to breed in. In fact, we now know that pseudo lives everywhere as do the fungi such as aspergilla. We now know that warmth can help us bronchs and the most important thing for us is to keep our lungs clear of mucus, wherever we live. Do keep in touch and let us know how you are doing.

B0xermad profile image

Definitely try and avoid close contact, I have bronchiectasis and wouldn't dream of getting on public transport if I can help it.once infection sets in its difficult to shift

MoyB profile image

I have been told to avoid public transport by someone in the medical profession but it was so long ago that I can't remember now if it was a doctor, nurse or physio. Or it may have been in some of the written info I was given.

I don't use busses often but I'm not afraid to and haven't knowingly picked up anything from using them. Occasionally, the bus has been full and I've wondered if I was being daft using it, but then I've been ok so don't worry any more.

I was also told to avoid people with colds and I do that wherever possible. So, I sit in a seat on my own if I can and try to keep space around me. If there's an open window I sit near it.

When my condition was newly diagnosed and not under control, I took a lot more notice of these things. We still don't mix with people if we KNOW they have colds but I haven't had one for years now so don't know how it might affect me.

I think it's important to do what you need to do to make the most of your life. If you can easily avoid public transport, it probably makes sense to do so, but don't get in a panic if you need to use it. Take sensible precautions if you can (see Littlepom's post) but don't get in a stew about it all as anxiety is just as bad as anything else in my book.

xx Moy

Ergendl profile image

If I'm going on a form of transport where a lot of strangers will be with me, I use Nasalguard Cold and Flu Block: rub it around the nostrils and breathe in through the nose. One time I was at in the auditorium for a theatre performance with two friends, and a stranger sitting behind us had a serious cold. I used some Nasalguard myself and offered it to my friends. One used it, the other didn't. The one who didn't, got the same cold, but the other friend and I didn't.

GintyFerguson profile image

Personally under 5s are to be avoided! Decomposing organic material, cut flowers an crowds. I wear a mask at all times outside now. Never been told not go on buses but if I do I avoid school times and sit as far away as possible from people. Windows are opened so I don't go in winter.

Izb1 profile image

I have bronchiectasis and rheumatoid athritis and have been advised by my rheumy consultant to avoid anywhere that I could pick up infections as my immune system doesnt work well due to the drugs I take. I dont think you need a professional to tell you what to do .Its common sense really, crowds of people are bound to have germs and infections and travelling has the same risks. I make sure that i wear my mask when out, use nasal guard , wash my hands as often as i can and try to keep my distance. I dont have a choice on using public transport as I dont have a car. One of the biggest spreaders are children as they always have coughs and colds so i keep well away from them, luckily my grandson is now 18. After one really bad cold I suffered so many problems that have lasted I do everything I can to avoid catching infections, saying that I go out as often as i want, you have to live as well and am sure at some point I will pick up something and just hope that I can fight it off x

Mooka profile image

I have Bronchiectasis and am immune Suppressed. I have used buses, trains and planes but tbh the worse problem is my grandchildren. I try not to see them if they have a cold but it gets to a point when I would never see them if I stick to it. Neither my immunologist or respiratory docs have told me to avoid public transport. I haven’t used it since lockdown. You have the perfect opportunity to wear a mask now without looking out of place.

johnkent profile image
johnkent in reply to Mooka

Why wear a mask, we were told countless time during the height of the pandemic that wearing a mask protects others and not the wearer or have I missed something

Mooka profile image
Mooka in reply to johnkent

I have read several reports suggesting that face masks reduce your exposure. At the end of the day it’s personal choice. Personally I prefer to lower my chance of getting any germs whilst still maintaining a quality of life.

Littlepom profile image
Littlepom in reply to johnkent

Think you missed something! They began by saying wearing masks not needed, then said only protected other people then changed it to they protect everybody . As somebody who has worn a mask when I feel vulnerable for years I wore one from the beginning ans haven't caught it. 🤞

Bevvy profile image
Bevvy in reply to johnkent

Face mask wearing has always been contentious. And why and when they should be worn confusing. I actually do believe the wearer has some protests and certainly when Covid was rampant in my block of flats, my father advised I wore a mask in common corridors. I did and didn’t succumb. Was this fluke or sensible advice? Who knows but for the sake of putting a mask on occasionally for additional times seemed to do no harm.

cofdrop-UK profile image

I think it is a balance johnkent. Limiting .your risks in crowded places but having a reasonable quality of life.Cx

johnkent profile image
johnkent in reply to cofdrop-UK

Totally agree, what I was asking was if anyone had actually been advised by a health professional to avoid trains, buses etc

cofdrop-UK profile image
cofdrop-UK in reply to johnkent

Apologies. In my 74 years of living with bronchiectasis the answer is no I have never been told this by a clinician.Cx

Guy_Incognito profile image

Hi John,

I have bronchiectasis and Cystic Fibrosis. I wear a mask on buses and trains, but avoid any that are really crowded.

I also use Nasal Guard

and Nasaleze

I do take trains to go to work but deliberately go a little later to avoid rush hour.

tomc profile image

Only if I wear my mask, however, I am very rarely out of the house except for spending a great deal of energy to go down to the garden. Better safe than sorry I think.

Stratos20 profile image

I’ve lived with severe cystic Bronchiectasis for 68 years. I manage my condition to the best of my ability. I’m careful and sensible. Daily Physiotherapy at least twice a day, depending on whether I have an infection or cold, (in which case would be several times a day) is a pain but it’s part of my life.

I love my life - my parents were told I probably wouldn’t reach 7 years of age.

I’ve never been told to avoid public transport. Just be sensible. Good wishes to you. Diane 😊

Offcut profile image

The Genral Public are just that Genral people that we have no idea if they are well or not? I will put my mask on anywhere that I feel I need to. The good thing is now we are not looked at as being odd if we wear a mask as we have all got used to it.

LissacFrance profile image

If you can avoid close contact with large crowds, do so. Whether it is public transport or the theater, or a crowded jumble sale. Use a mask when in crowds, it may not be much but every little helps in keeping unwanted bugs at bay. We`re going on holiday shortly to fairly busy campsite where we can choose to either mix with the crowd or keep to ourselves. being outdoors really does help, and no need for a mask. We`re both fully vaccinated and both had Covid end of April so should be fairly safe for next few months. Take care, use your common sense and do what suits you. Chris.

Hellodolly profile image

Hi there

I live in London and use the tube all the time. My view is that I have to have a life which involves getting about. I avoid rush hours, wear a mask, have had 4 jabs and have been offered no 5, and took antibiotics at Xmas as soon as a chest infection reared it’s ugly head.

We are all different and that’s my take on it.

I’m on an immune deficiency site, and some of those people really restrict their lives. I guess if you don’t go out , you do not come into contact with so many germs, but it’s one helluva price to pay psychologically.

Best wishes

Hello Dolly 🙂🫰🏼

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