This is a condition where the nails thicken and become round and “bulgy.” Furthermore, clubbing of nails is common to people who have heart conditions or those who experience lack of oxygen.
Because of the persistent coughing and shortness of breath, fatigue or tiredness is also one of the common signs and symptoms of bronchiectasis.
Loss of Weight
Due to difficulty of breathing and coughing, people with bronchiectasis need more energy. Along with the loss of appetite and fatigue, increased nutrient requirement can lead to weight loss.
Someone who suffers from bronchiectasis will also experience bladder leakage or urinary incontinence. This is not life-threatening, but it will surely have an impact on the patient’s activities. Urinary incontinence in this condition often happens when the patient coughs, hence the other term, cough incontinence.
Fever and Chills
If the patient with bronchiectasis develops a lung infection, he or she may develop a fever with chills.
Because of the accumulation of mucus, there could also be sinus problems like blocked sinus and sinus pain. Additionally, this may also lead to bad breath.
When to Seek for Immediate Medical Help
If you experience the following, go to the hospital right away.
- Rapid breathing (more than 25 counts per minute)
- Bluish discoloration of nails and lips; this indicates lack of oxygen
- Severe chest pain
- High fever
These are signs of severe lung infection and must be addressed by a healthcare provider immediately.
Management of the Signs and Symptoms of Bronchiectasis
Since it is a long-term condition, a person will continue to experience the signs and symptoms of bronchiectasis. Home management includes:
- Staying physically active
- Getting plenty of fluids to prevent mucous buildup
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
- Frequent hand washing to lower the risk of infection
- Vaccination against flu and pneumonia
Additionally, you also need to spot the signs of a flare-up. Flare-ups happen when the symptoms, especially breathing difficulty, become more severe than what’s normally experienced. The following are the signs and symptoms of bronchiectasis flare-ups:
- Fever and chills
- Night sweats
- Increased shortness of breath
If you experience flare-ups, you can do the following:
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Perform airway clearance exercises more frequently
- Take your prescribed medications
- Collect sputum sample and give it to your doctor