Bronchiectasis

What is the outlook?

Bronchiectasis is a long-term condition. When you have bronchiectasis you may have repeated chest infections.

Newer treatments aim to reduce the number and severity of these infections. But some people seem to be at risk of either more severe infections or more frequent infections. New scoring systems for bronchiectasis can help your doctor to identify if you’re at higher risk and may need more treatments.

Most people diagnosed with bronchiectasis have a normal life expectancy with treatment tailored to their needs. Some adults with bronchiectasis developed symptoms when they were children and live with bronchiectasis for many years. Some people, who have very severe bronchiectasis, may have a shorter life expectancy.

We know people often worry about the outlook, so talk to your health care professional. Ask lots of questions. Remember – lots of people manage very well living with bronchiectasis.

“I had to think to myself ‘I’m going to do the best that I can with it’ you know, ‘if these people can live with it, I can live with it’… and that really helped me to come to terms with it… you’ve got to help yourself … it’s not the end of the world.” Celia

Next: Treatment for bronchiectasis >

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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.