Restrictive Lung Disease and the Difference with Obstructive Lung Disease

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]hen we are talking about the restrictive lung disease, it is always related to the obstructive lung disease because they are related to your breathing system – although they are different. In most cases, though, they may share similar symptoms although the diagnose and treatments can be different – depending on your condition, really.

Restrictive Lung Disease vs Obstructive Problem

Basically, the restrictive lung disease is the condition where the lungs can’t be fully expanded while the obstructive type is the condition where you have difficulty to exhale the air within the lung. They share the same symptoms, though: you will suffer from breath shortness and accompanied with exertion.

In obstructive lung disease, there is a difficulty to exhale the air from your lungs because of airways narrowing or lungs damage. The exhaled air will come out slower than the usual, leaving quite a high amount of remaining air within the lungs. This issue is caused by cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, asthma, and chronic bronchitis and emphysema. If you suffer from this issue, you will have difficulty to breathe especially when you experience an increased activity.

Restrictive Lung Disease

In restrictive lung ailment, the lungs can’t fully expand so you won’t be able to fill your lungs with air. It is usually caused by a condition where stiffness happens to your lungs. If there is a combination of weak muscles, chest wall stiffness, or damaged nerves, it will lead to the restrictive issue. Some of the common causes for this condition are scoliosis, obesity, sarcoidosis, neuromuscular disease, and interstitial lung disease.

Restrictive Lung Disease and the Diagnose

Since both of the restrictive lung disease and the obstructive type share the similar shortness of breath, doctors need to take several tests to confirm their theory. It is highly likely that you will have to go through pulmonary function test, the X-ray photo, and also the CT-scan. If doctors are still unsure, it is possible that they may want you to undergo bronchoscopy, which includes biopsies to be sure.

The common symptoms of these lung diseases are:

  • Breath shortness with exertion
  • Coughing which can be either dry or with white sputum production
  • Anxiety or depression because of the limited activities that people can do with such a condition

Read More : Getting to Know About the Lungs and Lung Diseases

Restrictive Lung Disease Treatments

For this ailment, there are some medicines designed to treat the symptoms. Ofev and Esbriet, for instance, can help with the scarring of the lung tissues. If the disease happens because of the inflammation, medicines like Methotrexate, Azathioprine, Cyclophosphamide, and Corticosteriods can be used to suppress the immune system.

It is also possible to use the supplemental oxygen therapy, including the mechanical breathing machine. Such a BiPAP (the non invasive positive pressure ventilation) mask can also help to make the patients breathe easier and better. If the issue is caused by obesity, it is possible that doctors include exercise and weight loss in the treatment. You need to have a thorough and complete discussion with your doctor concerning the restrictive lung disease treatments if you want to gain satisfying result.

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