How is bronchiectasis diagnosed?
You doctor will ask lots of questions about you and your symptoms. If your doctor suspects you may have bronchiectasis, you will be referred to a respiratory consultant.
You will have some tests, which are likely to include:
- a chest X-ray
- a computerised tomography (CT) scan. A CT scan uses a special X-ray machine to look at your lungs in more details
- tests on your sputum to find out if any bacteria are in it
- blood tests
- lung function tests
Occasionally, your health care professional will suggest a bronchoscopy – using a camera in a narrow tube – to look inside your lungs and take samples.
Sometimes you’ll have further tests, including genetic blood tests, to try to find out why you’ve developed bronchiectasis.
Getting a diagnosis of bronchiectasis affects people differently. You might feel disbelief, worry or even relief at getting an explanation for your symptoms. Remember you are not alone.
"I was shocked but sort of glad in a way, because it explained why I hadn’t been well for so long” Tom, 33