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The most common symptom of bronchiectasis is a persistent cough that brings up a large amount of phlegm on a daily basis.
The phlegm can be clear, pale yellow or yellow-greenish in colour. Other people may only occasionally cough up small amounts of phlegm, or none at all.
Other symptoms may include:
If you develop a lung infection, your symptoms usually get worse within a few days. This is known as an infective exacerbation and it can cause:
You may also:
If you haven't previously been diagnosed with bronchiectasis and you develop a persistent cough, visit your GP for advice.
While persistent coughing may not necessarily be the result of bronchiectasis, it requires further investigation.
If you've been previously diagnosed with bronchiectasis and you begin to experience symptoms that suggest you have a lung infection, contact your GP. You'll usually need treatment with antibiotics.
Some people with bronchiectasis are given a stock of antibiotics as a precaution, in case they suddenly develop a lung infection.
Some people with bronchiectasis develop a severe lung infection that may need to be treated in hospital.
Signs and symptoms of serious lung infection include:
If you experience any of the above, phone the healthcare professional in charge of your care immediately. This may be your GP, a doctor who specialises in lung conditions (pulmonologist) or a specialist nurse.