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British Lung Foundation
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Frequent chest infections

I have bronchiectasis and asthma and to be honest don't have very frequent infections but of late I've had 2 chest infections and treated with 7 days of antibiotics on both occasions. The chest infections have gone only to reappear a week or so later.

I've been away last week and on my return feel flu.like symptoms with thick yellow sputum and have a feeling that I'm having yet another chest infection!

Its a pain being ill so frequently as work full time doing nights and also have my own business and am plodding on through despite feeling so unwell.

What would anyone recommend....should I do a sputum? Should I ask for a.different antibiotic? Should I. have taken steroids?

Any advice would be helpful...my sats are fine and I don't record peak flows as don't own a meter.


8 Replies

You should always put in a sputum sample so they know what they are treating but i would get back down to the doctors as it sounds like you either need different antibiotics or a longer course ....Are you moving your mucus every day its so important with Bronchiectasis to get it up or we suffer with infections


I can sympathise with you on that one. We have our own business, and it's hard. I have COPD, so I'm afraid I'm not very knowledgeable about your condition. The only thing I will say is that once you're bug free, have you tried Vicks First Defence? I saw it mentioned on here a few weeks ago. The whole family has been plagued with varying degrees of coughs and colds and I have remained well up to now.

I hope you get some good advice and are feeling better soon.

Take care.



Hello HC. Oh those chest infections. They definitely make us miserable. My doctor never gives me a sputum test. He see simply pits me on antibiotics. And tells me to rest, apart from tut tutoring that I've got another infection. He's even given me some for emergency use.I do think Mandy makes a very valid point though. Having it tested will.help with a diagnosis and probably good treatment.

I hope you feel better really soon.

Cas xx 🌹


I don't think you're a very happy chicken at the moment! It is horrible and a pain and a bit worrying when we're not even into the bad weather yet.

To answer your questions, as best as I can! - yes, definitely get a sputum test done. With bronchiectasis it could be psuedomonas which would be 'helped' but not cleared with antibiotics for the more usual chest infections. I don't think steroids help bronchiectasis people as much as those with COPD, unless you've got a wheeze. And your peak flow reading will be down with an infection so, if it was me, I'd rather leave it.

So, you have sympathy in bucketfuls but need to trog back to the doctor. Drink plenty, eat little and often, take paracetamol and cut down on what you can in your busy life, just for a while.

Hope you're a happier chicken soon. Sue x


PS - but you do treat asmtha with steroids, so should maybe ask your doctors advice. x


Hi happychicken, my understanding from my respiratory nurse when i was dx with bronchiectasis is that you should be given ABs for two weeks, not one when you have bronch. Also, do you do a sputum test when you have an infection? This tells your GP what bug is present in your lungs, so s/he knows which bug to prescribe for. In a rush so only just seen you have other replies saying this too.


I have also been given antibiotics for two weeks as I have Bronchiectasis. The sputum test should be done before starting the antibiotics but you don't have to wait for the result before starting them once the test is done. My tests have rarely shown anything specific, but the consultant said this is not the same as having no infection, just that it hasn't been identified.

I think you need to go back to your GP and see if he or she will increase your treatment to two weeks.

1 like

Thank you so much for all your replies....I actually have flu and my chest isn't too bad....more upper respiratory I think.

Its been good to hear some sound advice which I have taken on board. My body has now forced me to rest which is what I'm doing

Thanks again



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