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British Lung Foundation
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Bronchiectasis better in southern spain

Dear all

Have just returned from 6 weeks in our caravan in southern Spain. Did wonder if my lungs would be clearer. Well.... absolutely unbelievable!! I felt better than I have done since I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis 3 years ago, phlegm a fraction of my usual amount. Had energy, a different person. Was so so hoping it would continue when I got home. On 3rd day back the phlegm has returned back to my normal amount!! What can I deduce from this though? A fluke? I live in North Devon in a valley with lots of trees although in a coastal village.. so is it the vegetation around me, the wet damp climate ( notorious here) or something in the house. I used to live in the south east and lung problems started when we moved here 12 years ago.. infections/ early pneumonia, asthma worse. Thing is I love it here, my family are in the south west. We did have mould on one part of the wall several years ago as the heating pipes under the floor had a leak, but that was seen to by having "down pipes" from upstairs. Also have had some plumbing issues but they have been sorted. What sort of expert would I get to check who wouldn't have an ulterior motive in selling something? Or is it the humidity? Don't like Spain that much to want to live there and we were there in the driest part of the year. Or is it the vegetation around here but if so would have thought it would've produced more asthma like symptoms, not an increase in bronchiectasis phlegm. Aren't seeing my consultant for some time and I expect he would dismiss it all. Don't know if anyone has any thoughts?

Love to all x

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You need a professionally qualified person such as a housing surveyor, heating engineer etc who is responsible only to you. The Royal institution of Chartered Surveyors is the organisation to advise you.

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Thanks for that Carnival! 😀

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Hi

I am very interested to hear this as I have been telling my husband for sometime that we need to move to a hotter climate as I've always felt so much better in the summer.. however this year so far I've not had any improvement even though we've had some hot weather so was beginning to doubt my theory!

I think it's definitely the damp air although my problems started when we had an extension built on our house I think triggered my the copious amounts of dust.

Here's hoping one day to retire somewhere hot!!

Kerry x

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My asthma .. 20 years ago .. started after we had a loft conversion.

I think there was something about the very hot dry heat, not sure if it was the very low humidity ( lower than UK), or lack of green vegetation. Thing is it sounds good to live or be abroad more but I wonder what the reality is when the weather isn't good. With Spain, although the weather is much less humid, damp or cold it still has winter. If you've not got the hot summer it probably wouldn't be as appealing but that's perhaps me!! We toured around but the best dry air , where even my husband felt his lungs seemed different and he has no problem (!) was Mojarcar. This is next to Europes only desert. I felt really good there and it was fairly unspoilt for a resort. Don't know what it'd be like out of season though. Am going to try and find out more about climates... not sure quite how yet 😂!! Xx

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Yes I think there's definitely something about the dry heat I always feel worse when it's a bit damp. I feel better near the sea too which apparently is due to the drier warmer air although you would think it would be damper! I suppose that's what the salt lamp/caves are all about too..

I think the best way to find out about different climates is to book lots of holidays 😉

Definitely something to think about for the future for me though I think x

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Will keep you posted if I find anything out! Apparently East Anglia is the driest place in UK but is miles from my family!! May try it out in our caravan although sounds glamorous than Spain 😂! X

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Meant ... less glamorous!!

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Yes East Anglia not sounding quite as inviting.. but definitely keep me posted I'd be interested to know xx

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Hi Winter, I'm fascinated by your improvement in Spain and your search for a possible trigger at home. Interesting that it was dry heat and yes Mojacar would have probably the driest heat in Spain. They used to shoot cowboy movies in the desert in Almeria which is close by.

If it were as simple as dry heat suiting you then it would probably be worth spending several months a year over there.

I have Bronchiectasis as well, very extensive and severe at this stage. Heat does not suit me at all though and my breathing goes completely down the tubes when the temperatures rise. But of course that's mainly caused by humidity.

As regards houses and irritants, I think it's no coincidence that my condition took a turn for the worst five years ago. In June 2012 our house was flooded and we didn't move out of it for repairs until October. During that four months, I'm convinced that spores from the dampness under the floorboards sent my respiratory problems into overdrive. Up until then it was an episodic problem but since then it's been constant.

Good luck with your investigations and I hope you find some answers. But if nothing else you now know that there's someplace you can go that will benefit your health.

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Thanks for your long reply Billiejean. Am so sorry to hear how bad your bronchiectasis is but you've kindly given me advice previously and I've read your posts.

Likewise when we discovered black mound on the lounge wall behind some furniture and discovered it was coming from beneath the concrete floor we didn't move out. I sat at night in that room with a huge industrial humidifier on.. this is before bronchiectasis diagnosis. Have wondered if a connection.

Yes we went to the Hollywood film set... very authentic and not commercialised.

Mojarcar seems the one place that has little rainfall / low humidity all year but somehow don't fancy it when it's not the summer. Have problems flying due to a dysfunctional eustacian tube so France, Spain are easy to drive to. Don't know if you travel abroad but maybe a low humidity place like Mojarcar

may suit you when it's not too hot?

Take care xx

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Yes I do travel but usually in May or late September, to avoid the very high temperatures. I always feel that sea air does me good and crisp cool weather suits me very well. My Bronchiectasis is a pain in more ways then one but I can cope with it most of the time. I've just got over a nasty exacerbation and am feeling euphoric now at being able to be up and about and doing things again. So, I'm hoping for a good spell for the rest of the summer. It's a constant balancing act but as long as there are breaks in between, we'll survive.

Remember years ago, people would go to Arizona if they had lung issues ? Same as Mojacar obviously, the dry heat and no vegetation.

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Yes hope you have a good long break now.. fingers crossed!

That's interesting as I didn't know that people used to go to Arizona for lung problems!! When was that I wonder? It would be similar to Mojarcar but warmer all year I expect. X

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It's just something I remember from years back. Probably around the same time wintering in Florida became popular with older people from the northern US States and Canada.

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Oh .. I didn't realise and am 62! X

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Very interesting that we all have triggers related to house problems/building work if only we'd known it would be a problem we could have avoided it! 😞

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That's true Knicho. We'll be wiser in future.

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After. lifetime of bronch, living abroad and travelling I have pinned it down to this for myself

Anywhere where the air is polluted by vehicle fumes- bad bad bad

When it comes to unpolluted air.

hot and humid - can be difficult but not too bad

cold and wet - can lead to an exacerbtion but basically depends on whether I contract other peple's germs.

hot and dry - tiring but ok on the breathing

warm and dry, Florida in winter, the Caribbean. Lovely, sets me up for the year.

Best of all, long sea journeys where the salt collects overnight on the balcony rail. Travelling with the balcony door open seems to clear my chest, reduce sputum dramatically and give me lots of energy.

Unfortunately in combination with any of the above, pollution and other peopl's germs destroy the effect.

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Thanks Littlepom for such an informative reply! X

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I'm always better in a warmer climate so that's why we try to holiday during the winter to a hotter climate and also if I've been unwell a quick trip to somewhere warm seems to rid me of my phlegm and constant coughing- yes it may come back when home but the phlegm is usually clear- I do live in between Manchester and Wigan so the air is not as clear here. I also have a cup of water on my radiator in the living room so the air is not as dry when the heating is on.

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That's interesting.. thank you. I suppose as littlepom just said, it's balancing the potential bugs in the journeys, boat or plane, plus accommodation as perhaps there may be more bugs around in the winter. X

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Hi winter 2013 i dont yet have a disgnosis but bronchecstasis has been mentioned:(. I have just come back from Greece and although a bit ropey the first day or two was a lot better and not coughing as much. But now I'm back home coughing is as bad as ever along with mucus and Im feeling tired and emotional again. Im not sure if its just everyday living and the pressures that brings along with poor air quality. We seem yo have a lot more cars and therefore car pollution i would imagine, although i havent checked statistics. Hope you are feeling better soon anyway x🐝

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THanks Busybees. Yes it's hard to determine cause isn't it?! Pressures are greater at home but somehow I find that hard to see how how it makes more mucous. I wonder where you live in U.K.? Hope you soon feel brighter x

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Hi I found reading these post very interesting I have bronchiectasis diagnosed within a year of moving into a damp council house all my furniture was ruined with black mould and the freshly painted walls soon also covered I had wood flooring put down and would find slugs everywhere if i went downstairs during the night. I was 48yrs old non smoker and in very good health my poor dog was also poorly. I now live in a damp free home although i cant get rid of the bronchiectasis i can manage it and my dog Leo is back to his normal self. I am off to Spain beginning of August so fingers crossed the sry air will be good for me x

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Thank goodness you're in a damp free home and enjoy Spain! X

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I always feel 90% better when I stay in Rhodes, one of the Greek islands. Lovely dry heat, afternoon breeze on the east side of the island, salt sea air, and many unspoilt places inland.

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Yes interesting isn't it! X

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Find what you say so interesting, I am usually better just being by the sea, I put it down to the salty air. Its impossible sometimes I think to get to the bottom of it, but damp, coldness, like our weather usually gives us, apart from a few months. May be significant. I am often better in the summer, when its warmer, I am out more, moving about more, getting more light, etc etc. Also usually drier.

If I was sure that's what it was, or if I thought it helped I would move.

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I know. So hard to get 100% proof and then rethink your life ! X

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