What does this mean for my life now?

"Even though it’s an illness and it’s a symptom… it’s normal for what you’ve got." Shirley, 67

Impact and coping

  • We know from previous work with patients that having bronchiectasis can have a huge impact on many aspects of your life. This includes not only the physical impact that bronchiectasis can have, but the emotional impact, and how it affects things such as work, daily activities, families, relationships and social activities.
  • Having a support network can be very helpful. This may include your family, friends and your health care team such as your GP or specialist nurse.
  • Some people find it helpful to speak to or hear about others who can relate to the problems they are having. You may find some of the videos and quotes on this website from other patients helpful. There are also other websites that you may find useful.
  • You can see patients talking about their experiences here. 
  • The British Lung Foundation have a support line and an online community where you can chat to others in similar situations.
  • This information website has been co-developed with patients and carers in order to meet their needs. There are also some other bronchiectasis websites set up by patients. Follow the links below to look at these.


Remember you are not alone in feeling like this. Please speak to your doctor or nurse if you are having difficulty coping.

Practical tips

Holidays, flying, insurance

  • Many patients with bronchiectasis and other chronic diseases requiring long term treatment have queries about holidays. Often people worry about whether they should fly, and how much their insurance will cost.
  • Unless your doctor has advised you not to fly for a specific reason (sometimes you may need to have a ‘flight test’ to see if your oxygen levels would be ok on-board a flight) then you should be fine to fly. If you are worried, ask your doctor. You will need to take your usual medication and a copy of your prescription or clinic letter with you. These should be carried in hand luggage. If you use a nebuliser there may be quite a bit of equipment, including needles to take on the flight. This will be allowed as long as you have evidence that it is your prescribed treatment.
  • Holiday insurance can be expensive for anyone who has health problems. Shopping around is the best way to try to find a good deal. The British Lung Foundation have recommendations on their website:


  • There are a number of devices that are used in bronchiectasis. These include simple things such as chest clearance aids including flutter and acapella devices and also nebulisers, oxygen cylinders or concentrators and rarely machines and masks that help with breathing (usually at night) called non-invasive ventilation or CPAP.
  • Again, when travelling you will need to take this equipment with you. All these devices can be taken on an aircraft, but you should make it clear that you have them in advance.
  • We know from other research that some people choose not to take their nebuliser when on holiday. This is probably ok for short periods, but you should always take your treatment as directed by your doctor and taking to your treatments regularly is extremely important. If you want to have a ‘treatment holiday’ from any of your treatments you should discuss this with your doctor.
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