Bronchiectasis v's pneumonia - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

48,406 members57,575 posts

Bronchiectasis v's pneumonia

Lisawabbit profile image

Hi their. I have just been diagnosed with Bronchiectasis and had to go for a Bronchoscopy, I was asked what I was worried about and I said getting pneumonia and my lungs collapsing again, I was then told I already have pneumonia. Is it pneumonia or Bronchiectasis, are they the same thing or slightly different. The definition is enlarged airways filled with fluid/mucus this is what I have been told I have and that's what Bronchiectasis is, I am a little confused, tired, bruised and lifeless. Can someone please tell me what the difference is?

12 Replies

Hi there,

Poor you.sounds like you have had an awful time

I too have bronchiectasis..pneumonia is not bronchiectasis.

It sounds like your infection has turned into pneumonia..not nice for you.

There are people here know so much more than me.

You will need to get well from this and see a consultant that deals with bronchiectasis and so your care can sounds like most i read on here that we all have a 14 day course of cipro antibiotics at home ready to take

There will be lots of support here

Get yourself well

Jenny x

Hidden profile image

I think you get dx of bronchiectasis when there is immunity involvement.

There are few types of bronchiectasis local and defuse.

I can't see bronchiectasis dx from one incident of pneumonia.

Healthy people don't get pneumonia unless there is a underlying cause.

In my view bronchiectasis pneumonia is result of something else

Maureenclayton profile image
Maureenclayton in reply to Hidden

I hadn't realised that there was different types of bronchiectasis so I'll ask the doctor what I actually have when I go.

Hidden profile image
Hidden in reply to Hidden

Hi Jeff. I got bronchiectasis from my one and only bout of pneumonia. Otherwise, I have been healthy all my life. Now I am 63 and just got this diagnosis 3 years after having had pneumonia in the hospital, with no infections between then & now. Lots of labs & tests, nothing underlying. My recent CT shows that one bout of pneumonia unfortunately caused scarring with bilateral atelectasis (collapse). It happens.

Hidden profile image

Hi Lisawabbit.

I got bronchiectasis as a child as the result of several bouts of pneumonia. Bronchiectasis is the damage to the lungs which results from incidents such as pneumonia, whooping cough, measles or a lifetime of badly treated chest infectionss. I don't have immunity issues. My immune system is always going like a steam train looking out for infections, which can give problems in itself. People who do have immune system issues are more susceptible to developing chest infections which can then lead to the damage which is bronchiectasis. We are all different which is what makes us so difficult to diagnose and treat. If you do hot have a specific bronchiectasis specialist to oversee your care you need to be vociferous in getting one. General respiratory consultants and hospital clinics do not know enough about it.

I hope that helps and that you soon get the help to manage it and that you can lead a normal life,

Maureenclayton profile image
Maureenclayton in reply to Hidden

That's a good reply to previous question, I also didn't know any of this but I'm sure I will learn. Thank you. X

Hi Lisawabbit and a very warm welcome to you.

No bronchiectasis and pneuomonia are not the same. Bronchiectasis, as you quite rightly say is the damage to your lungs which allows mucus to pool. It would appear they have found a strain of the pneumonia bacterial at broncoscopy. I had double pneumonia and whooping cough as a baby which left me with bronchiectasis, then a double whammy measles at 19. I have had my share of pneumonia and it takes a while to get back on an even keel again, but you will imrove.

It bodes well that you have had a scan and broincoscopy with regard good care of your bronchiectasis but I hope you are under the care of a resp consultant who has a special interest in bronchiectasis. Con should also refer you to a respiratory physiotherapist so you can learn how to do mucus clearance for yourself. Do you know the cause of your bronchiectasis, not that that will change the treatment.

Most of us have a supply of antibiotics at home and the type will vary from person to person.

Many of us have sample pots, labels and lab pots so we can get a sample in to the GP or hospital lab. Although the guidelines are that we get the sample in and then start on a rescue antibiotic, the results are usdeful as we and our docs then know what antibiotic the bugs are sensitive to and it is a useful guide to medics what to use when we present again with an infection.

A lot to take in.

Hope you feel better soon.


I realise after reading a lot of people's problems most of you say about keeping a spare lot of antibiotics in the house just incase, that's a good idea as I never can get in straight away to my doctors, so when I go this afternoon I'm going to make a point of asking for some. Thanks for advise. X

Hi, thank you to everyone that has replied.

My cancer had a high grade transformation in the center of my chest 4 yrs ago, I got pneumonia and bronchitis, my right lung collapsed and I had 3 litres of fluid drained, I have had a bad cough since then that they have always put down to asthma, nasal drip or silent reflux, I litterally cough and choke until I vomit and have had to retire from 2 of my jobs because of it. I hardly work now as it stepped up a gear a year ago and they have only just seen this on the recent ct scan, apparently it wasn't visible on my last ct scan but she didn't show me the scan to compare, she just looked at me and said you was adamant that it wasn't asthma. I am on Doxycycline and then I am being put on azithromycin and yes I have been referred to a respiratory physiotherapist. I am now on prednisone aswell as I suddenly lost hearing in my right ear, apparently that's from chemotherapy as well, this fun train just keeps on going.

I like you am very confused about the differences, I was just told that both my lungs at the bottom had collapsed and about the airways filling with mucus and getting enlarged. I don't know about you but I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest, it's very uncomfortable I'm wondering when I see the specialist in October will he be able to help me with this. ?

Awww I know exactly what you mean, mine is in the bottom lobe aswell, my ct scan looked awful. I have just started a course of Doxycycline and just starting to feel like there is some relief. It's takene well over a year to get here though, I have cancer aswell amd had my gp amd my cancer consultant writing to respiratory telling them to sort it out.

Hope you get some good news pr at least a plan at your next appointment.

Hiya Lisawabbit sorry to hear that on top of everything else you have also got cancer, my heart goes out to you, I am pleased to hear you are getting some relief though, it's a start. I'm really not very knowledgable about any antibiotics, it wasn't till I found out that I have this disease what I apparently I've have had for four years nowu that I've only just started to take any notice, and that's because now it's effected both lungs and so many chest infections one after the other that I feel so bad I've had to sit up and take notice. Talking about sitting up I do sit up to go to sleep that is the only way I get any rest but I still am awake most of the night. I went to see the doctor today and told him all my concerns and this is what he has put me on Prednisolone tablets and also Ciprofloxacin so hopefully they will help me, apparently I have another chest infection, but I could have told the doctor that lol. I go to see the specialist on the 5th October and my Gp said that he will most probably change everything I'm on and put me on different medication. Well what ever I don't care as long as it helps me to breath. Thank you for your reply and I'm sorry for your own problems I hope that you get all the help and support you need. Take care. Xx

You may also like...