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What are the symptoms of bronchiectasis?

Symptoms vary between people. You may have one or two on the list below, or you may have most of them.

The most common symptom is coughing up sputum, sometimes called phlegm. The amount varies. For people with more severe bronchiectasis it can be quite large amount, for example a full sputum pot in a day.

Frequent chest infections are also a common feature of bronchiectasis.

Other symptoms you might have are:

  • feeling very tired or finding it difficult to concentrate
  • breathlessness: having difficulty breathing or feeling short of breath
  • problems with your sinuses
  • cough incontinence, also called bladder leakage
  • anxiety or depression

Less common symptoms include:

  • coughing up blood 
  • chest pain
  • joint pain

Next: Causes of bronchiectasis >

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Download our bronchiectasis PDF (341 KB) Order your bronchiectasis information

Last medically reviewed: March 2017. Due for review: March 2020

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.