British Lung Foundation
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Does where you live effect bronchiectasis?


I was diagnosed with bronchiectasis, recently, whilst I was in the process of looking for a new abode. I have been told that,anecdotally, climate can have a significant effect on lung function/infections, etc. However, moving to a warmer, drier climate has its own pitfalls - language barrier and possible lack of support groups, etc. Is there a place in uk where people have less lung probs - by the sea perhaps? Any input gratefully received.

17 Replies

Thanks - brief and to the point...


they have often said sea air is good for the lungs (miners rest in blackpool) lots of retirement homes by the sea. question is which coast east, west,south, is best i like them all. you can purchase a salt air breathing device, not quite the same.


Thanks for your response. Have not considered Blackpool - I guess I just thought being further south would be drier/better?

I already use a nebuliser with sodium chloride but , as you say, it is not quite the same...

I do know that it is really beneficial to have a supportive community around you and good medical therapy. I'm trying to combine the two on a fairly low budget. Wish me luck.


The south west coast is the best as far as climate and air quality is concerned. We have the mildest winters here in Cornwall - frequently snow and ice free too - but the BIG drawback is the steep hills. If i had the wherewithal to chose where to live, it would still be the south coast. I would look for somewhere with the immediate surroundings as flat as possible. I would also look for a small seaside village but with a nearby conurbation for facilities such as hospitals, supermarkets etc. It's not just the sea air that's good - i think our lungs just like it best being down at sea level. Stay away from valley's though - they are invariably damp! P.


Thanks very much Parvati for you indepth response. The irony is that I sold a flat in West Dorset 18 months ago - long before diagnosis and now I cannot afford to move to somewhere similar! At the moment, apart from struggling with shock and depression over my diagnosis, I am living/renting in a very built up area with lots of traffic and the thought of trying to find somewhere condusive to healing is daunting. Thanks again though.


Hello, yes it definitely does affect the various lung illnesses/conditions.

To start off with, think about what happens when a person travels or is in higher altitude, like upon a mountain, where personally I'd never have been one to climb the Annapurna Mountain Range in Nepal, the very idea of even being near anything like that now feels like a boa constrictor has me by the neck.

I think what is important, is the relative air humidity, this means the ratio of water/moisture/humidity in comparison or relation to the temperature.

This very thing is the reason plants either wo'nt grow or very grow little or slow, or else go nuts and become huge like in the tropics, there in the tropics it is because it is very hot but humid at the same time.

So in one country where it is always cold but humid too, the plants will not grow too well, and the combination of humidity and temperature will not be a positive for people with breathing problems caused by lung illnesses, however, in a European country where it is in summer quite hot but the humidity is far higher in relation to actual temperature, it may feel more uncomfortable than it would in an even hotter country, because the heat would balance out the moisture.

I think though, the only way to know, is to visit different places but for most people that's not an option to be had.

My own idea is that a place with a steady temperature is the best, so no fluctuations, an that would be where the temperatures do not decrease in winter time, like on the Azores islands, even in summer it doesn't get too hot there but in winter it doesn't get too cold either.

All of these matters are different for each individual, personally, I like a slightly higher temperature during summer than is the case on the Azores, where it doesn't get much hotter than 25 degrees Celsius from what I've read about it.

I think some of the Canary Islands might have good temperatures too, but they see higher temperatures, these varying inland according to altitudes, etc.

I want to visit Wales, my great grandmother came from Wales, but, when looking at Google Street View, all the pictures showed only rain drenched panoramas and streets/fields, so I was wondering how the climate there would affect me.

There are a number of people writing ion here who live in Wales, I'd like to hear from them what they think it does to them, living there, whether the fresher air compensates for the abundance of rainfall and lack of sun or is it all in all just about the same s it is in other parts of the UK, such as in England.

Anyhow, talking of boa constrictors, as an aside I had this dream or rather almost nightmare the other night, I suddenly found myself with my grandson in an enclosure full of wild cats, lions, and in that very instant of fear, really for your life (mine and his) I had to act and I was angry and ready to die and thought I would be too, but I punched one lion that approached on the nose in anger protecting ma-boy and managed to get us out of there over the fence before the other lions had time to think over what I'd just done (had the audacity to do), as the lion I punched on the nose piddled right off sharp.


Hi TJohn. I live in wales and finding it so much better environmentally for me .... having said that I had moved from London where some days we were warned of pollution levels dangerous for breathing probs. and sometimes I opened my door there only to close it from the fumes of traffic - even though on a quiet road. Odd - I heard places like the Peak area has more pollution as it settles there the large towns and cities miles around it ! In wales, it's fresher usually, and I just plan around the weather, when wet or humid I don't go outside so much.

Great dream - what does it tell you ... maybe that staying around for years and years is what you need to do and actually can do - taking as much power into your hands as you can :)


Many things to take into account I think, but depends how your own breathing is affected by; pollution, damp, humidity, grass pollen, tree pollen etc. and what you want to trade off for the location you move to.

Its been said that ocean air is good as is high ground rather than living in a valley etc. High winds can sometimes have an affect on breathing, if living in a hilly, windy coastal area for instance.

I notice just travelling in the car non moving air in a dip or valley is much poorer quality than air on a hill overlooking open plains for instance but then open plains and hills are often more breezy.

If you can visit the area 4 times during a year for a week or so and check out the weather through the seasons. alternatively check weather conditions through the year on a world or national weather site like BBC or local weather site for the specific location you are interested in.

Certainly people living in high pollution areas often benefit from moving away from those areas and also not living close to a main road where heavy traffic can add to pollution levels of the air you are breathing. Yet others would not want to live in farming country where the farmer often sprays insecticides and grass pollen in extremely high.

As I said there is a lot to take into acount.

Hope you find something just right for you. Would be interested to know what you decide on.

Good luck.


Thanks Zoee - that was vey helpful.


Hi Swimmer,

I have had bronchiectasis since i was 3 years old , i would love to live near the sea on the south coast . I lived in greater London since birth and worked in London for 5 years untill in 1996 i moved to Eire for the fresh air ( couldn't afford the coast and husband wouldn't move there anyway ).Although the air is mainly cleaner the tractors and spray the farmers use are not good for me and most people use turf for fuel which is awful for the lungs and i have to avoid it as much as possible (if i am in the garden when my neighbour starts the range i have to go indoors ) . Therefore it is not as beneficial as i had hoped . Have thought of returning to uk several times but husband is reluctant to sell up even if he stays in Eire and i go to uk ggrr.I also have some reservations about returning as i would find it hard to adjust again and would miss my daughter and grand daughter who live here .

I hope you find a good place to live where you can be healthy and happy , no pollution , sunny and dry (not wales ) xxxx Dinny xxxxxx


Thanks dinnyrayer

That was very helpful.

Will let you all know if I find somewhere really condusive to respiratory health in UK.!!


I am fortunate enough to live very near the sea on the south coast just about 5 miles from brighton, and I seem to stay much healthier than others on the bronchiectasis website. It's drier and warmer than most of UK. Mind you we do occasionally get mists off the sea but on the whole I think it's a great place (I've lived on the east coast, london and wales too)


Hi fairyfootseps

Thanks for your input

I was thinking of Brighton area myself - would have to live 10 or 15 miles away as funds won't stretch to Brighton itself. Was also thinking of Bristol as Southmead Hospital in north Bristol has a specialist lung unit which has an excellant reputation.

Kind regards


I've heard that Hastings is an up-and-coming area, along the coast but cheaper.


I remember how much better I was (just before diagnosis of bronchiectasis) when visiting Cornwall three years ago. I had been very poorly but within two days I was able to walk up the hill from quay to car park without coughing my guts up or stopping to rest.

More recently I have moved from Hackney to West Dorset (but not by the coast) and it has made life a lot easier. Personally, I think Pollution is a big factor.


Thanks EmmyH for your responses. I would love to move to another area where there is less traffic! The traffic here in the Bournemouth area is terrible. Hastings might fit the bill but it is a long way and I have stamina problems so not sure I could manage the train journey there and back in one day. As I need loads of equipment with me in order to sleep - overnight stays are not on the cards.... I do feel very trapped here.

Kind regards


I am considering the same question after a bought of pneumonia. I can't access the answers to this question and so wandered what you have found out?


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