Bronchiectasis: Is nebulizing helpful?

Posted by gej53 @gej53, Aug 8, 2021

Hi guys, hope I am posting this right. I have had bronchiectasis and have been nebulizing for two years now. A friend recently visited and said she has a history of pneumonia seven times and saw bronchiectasis on her scan. However, she does not nebulize. I was pretty surprised. Makes me wonder, is mine worse that hers on an xray? Is her doc remiss in not ordering her to nebulize? Does not everyone nebulize who has bronchiectasis? Any thoughts? Thanks so much.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the MAC & Bronchiectasis group.

It's that old answer again, it depends.

I can only share what I have learned over time, from my pulmonologist and I'D doc, my family, on Mayo Connect and from studying the many videos and reports from National Jewish Health.

I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis while I had severe pneumonia, a combination of Pseudomonas and MAC. The treatment consisted of multiple, serial courses of antibiotics, inhalers, and duoneb nebs to open my lungs and an airway clearance device. At one point I also used nebulized tobramycin.

Gradually I transitioned to nebulized albuterol as needed with instead of duoneb. I never had a problem getting up copious sputum until my infection lessened, then I started using .9% saline.

Here on Connect I learned about 7% saline and my docs agreed to try it. Then, still positive for MAC I needed to stop the antibiotics. We continued the saline neb, with inhalers and airway clearance to keep my lungs clear. I still use it and it got me through an exacerbation without pneumonia or antibiotics.

My daughter and husband, on the other hand, have milder cases of Bronchiectasis, have never had MAC, and only neb if they have a cold or bronchitis, or if they need their asthma neb. They don't even do airway clearance every day.

I hope we hear of other people's experiences. What is your Bronchiectasis story?

Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

It's that old answer again, it depends.

I can only share what I have learned over time, from my pulmonologist and I'D doc, my family, on Mayo Connect and from studying the many videos and reports from National Jewish Health.

I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis while I had severe pneumonia, a combination of Pseudomonas and MAC. The treatment consisted of multiple, serial courses of antibiotics, inhalers, and duoneb nebs to open my lungs and an airway clearance device. At one point I also used nebulized tobramycin.

Gradually I transitioned to nebulized albuterol as needed with instead of duoneb. I never had a problem getting up copious sputum until my infection lessened, then I started using .9% saline.

Here on Connect I learned about 7% saline and my docs agreed to try it. Then, still positive for MAC I needed to stop the antibiotics. We continued the saline neb, with inhalers and airway clearance to keep my lungs clear. I still use it and it got me through an exacerbation without pneumonia or antibiotics.

My daughter and husband, on the other hand, have milder cases of Bronchiectasis, have never had MAC, and only neb if they have a cold or bronchitis, or if they need their asthma neb. They don't even do airway clearance every day.

I hope we hear of other people's experiences. What is your Bronchiectasis story?

Sue

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I have had bronchiectasis for 40 years. I only began nebulizing in the last few months. I have and still use multiple inhalers and antibiotics when I get infection. I got so I couldn’t clear my lungs and my coughing was out of control. It is helping.

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@vfparker

I have had bronchiectasis for 40 years. I only began nebulizing in the last few months. I have and still use multiple inhalers and antibiotics when I get infection. I got so I couldn’t clear my lungs and my coughing was out of control. It is helping.

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Thanks for sharing that. What do you use in your nebulizer?
Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

It's that old answer again, it depends.

I can only share what I have learned over time, from my pulmonologist and I'D doc, my family, on Mayo Connect and from studying the many videos and reports from National Jewish Health.

I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis while I had severe pneumonia, a combination of Pseudomonas and MAC. The treatment consisted of multiple, serial courses of antibiotics, inhalers, and duoneb nebs to open my lungs and an airway clearance device. At one point I also used nebulized tobramycin.

Gradually I transitioned to nebulized albuterol as needed with instead of duoneb. I never had a problem getting up copious sputum until my infection lessened, then I started using .9% saline.

Here on Connect I learned about 7% saline and my docs agreed to try it. Then, still positive for MAC I needed to stop the antibiotics. We continued the saline neb, with inhalers and airway clearance to keep my lungs clear. I still use it and it got me through an exacerbation without pneumonia or antibiotics.

My daughter and husband, on the other hand, have milder cases of Bronchiectasis, have never had MAC, and only neb if they have a cold or bronchitis, or if they need their asthma neb. They don't even do airway clearance every day.

I hope we hear of other people's experiences. What is your Bronchiectasis story?

Sue

Jump to this post

I developed a persistent cough in 2018 that would not go away. It was to the point that I could hardly carry on a conversation without coughing. After my medical doctor ordered a CT scan of my chest I ended up seeing a pulmonologist. He felt sure from viewing my CT that I had MAC. I had a bronchoscopy and he performed cultures/washings and it did not show MAC positive. He began me on the nebulizer with 3% saline and I had little production. He then ordered the percussion vest which does help immensely. From this wonderful forum I learned about 7% saline and have been using it for about 9 months now. I use 7% in the morning and 3% in the afternoon. I have to buy the 7% myself as the doc will not prescribe it saying it may cause bronchospasm. I have printed out information from this site to take to him on my next visit about the 7% saline results. Using the 7% saline helps me feel that at least I am keeping the MAC at bay by creating a hostile environment. I just wondered if my chest xray appearance of the bronchiectasis presents differently from my friend since she does not nebulize. I guess I just assumed that nebulizing and bronchiectasis goes hand in hand.

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@sueinmn

Thanks for sharing that. What do you use in your nebulizer?
Sue

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I use 7%

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I was diagnosed with mild Bronchiectasis and wasn’t told to nebulize at first. From this forum, I learned about the 7% saline ( and many other things!). I nebulize daily in hopes of keeping my lungs as healthy as can be. I can bring up sputum that I couldn’t bring up before nebulizing.

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@gej53

I developed a persistent cough in 2018 that would not go away. It was to the point that I could hardly carry on a conversation without coughing. After my medical doctor ordered a CT scan of my chest I ended up seeing a pulmonologist. He felt sure from viewing my CT that I had MAC. I had a bronchoscopy and he performed cultures/washings and it did not show MAC positive. He began me on the nebulizer with 3% saline and I had little production. He then ordered the percussion vest which does help immensely. From this wonderful forum I learned about 7% saline and have been using it for about 9 months now. I use 7% in the morning and 3% in the afternoon. I have to buy the 7% myself as the doc will not prescribe it saying it may cause bronchospasm. I have printed out information from this site to take to him on my next visit about the 7% saline results. Using the 7% saline helps me feel that at least I am keeping the MAC at bay by creating a hostile environment. I just wondered if my chest xray appearance of the bronchiectasis presents differently from my friend since she does not nebulize. I guess I just assumed that nebulizing and bronchiectasis goes hand in hand.

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Gej, Seems to me you have a good understanding of your situation and the ability to articulate your thoughts clearly. You might lead along the lines of “Let me tell you how I’m thinking about this.” Don

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@thumperguy

Gej, Seems to me you have a good understanding of your situation and the ability to articulate your thoughts clearly. You might lead along the lines of “Let me tell you how I’m thinking about this.” Don

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Thank you Don! Any compliment about articulation from you carries a lot of weight as you have such an impressive command of he English language 🙂 Your posts are always enjoyable!! Will try your suggestion. Want to bring the doc around to thinking the way of this forum without him thinking I am questioning his practice. I have a repeat CT scan for this year coming up this summer so will open up discussion with that and take it from there.

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@cavlover

I was diagnosed with mild Bronchiectasis and wasn’t told to nebulize at first. From this forum, I learned about the 7% saline ( and many other things!). I nebulize daily in hopes of keeping my lungs as healthy as can be. I can bring up sputum that I couldn’t bring up before nebulizing.

Jump to this post

I agree. I am so happy to have found this forum, don't remember how, but it has taught me how serious and complicated MAC can be and how much difficulty others are going through. I nebulize too in hopes of keeping my lungs as healthy as can be. Also began wearing a mask if mulching outside or planting. I don't normally work outside anymore but recently had to when my husband had surgery. I check all the mail when nebulizing. It passes time and educates me!

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@gej53

I agree. I am so happy to have found this forum, don't remember how, but it has taught me how serious and complicated MAC can be and how much difficulty others are going through. I nebulize too in hopes of keeping my lungs as healthy as can be. Also began wearing a mask if mulching outside or planting. I don't normally work outside anymore but recently had to when my husband had surgery. I check all the mail when nebulizing. It passes time and educates me!

Jump to this post

Yes, time seems to pass much faster if I do Connect while I neb!

Don't you just hate wearing a mask outside? We wear them in the yard, and I also wear one anytime I'm working in my daughter's house when dust is being raised while rehabbing (I also have asthma & allergies.) At least when Covid came along it was no big deal for me – I had been wearing N95 masks for several years, as does my brother.

The thing I find encouraging is that life seems to have improved for many of us by following the simple (if annoying) steps of nebbing saline & doing lung clearance.

Sue

REPLY
@sueinmn

Yes, time seems to pass much faster if I do Connect while I neb!

Don't you just hate wearing a mask outside? We wear them in the yard, and I also wear one anytime I'm working in my daughter's house when dust is being raised while rehabbing (I also have asthma & allergies.) At least when Covid came along it was no big deal for me – I had been wearing N95 masks for several years, as does my brother.

The thing I find encouraging is that life seems to have improved for many of us by following the simple (if annoying) steps of nebbing saline & doing lung clearance.

Sue

Jump to this post

Yes, I agree. The mask outside, especially on the hot days, was a drag….
As much as nebulizing gets tiring at times, I try to keep telling myself I am keeping my lungs as healthy as can be and am protecting myself as much as possible against MAC with the 7% saline. My physician was so sure I had MAC and was surprised when everything returned negative. I was grateful. This forum has educated me on how much people suffer with this. I am a nurse by background and had never heard of MAC or had one chart I reviewed reflect a patient had MAC. I fit the profile for "Lady Windermere Syndrome", but was glad did no have it….so far. That is a fancy sounding name for a disease one would not wish for!

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What is the best timing for Nebulizing, before or after meals? I am trying to get my wife to start, but getting slight resistance…Thanks for your input in advance!

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