What are the differences between obstructive lung disease, restrictive lung disease, and normal condition?

 In Lung Disease, Article, Asthma, Pulmonologist

The first step toward diagnosing any lung disease is by differentiating between various types of obstructive lung disease and restrictive lung disease. Both of  these can lead to shortness of breath, however restrictive lung disease can  further cause more difficulty with air exhaling, and restrictive lung diseases can  lead to problems by restricting a person’s ability to inhale air. To identify the  disease faced, you must get in touch with a respiratory specialist in South Delhi.

What are the causes of lung diseases?

This is caused by an obstruction in the air passages along with obstruction  defined by exhalation that is slower as well as shallower than someone who does  not have this disease. he obstruction can even occur when the inflammation and  swelling can become narrowed, blocked, or even make it tough to expel air that is  left in the lungs.

Here are the most common lung diseases categorized as obstructive:

  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Asthma
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Chronic bronchitis


In comparison to obstructive lung diseases, restrictive conditions are referred to as inhalation which helps in filling the lungs quite less than what is expected in a healthy person. Restrictive lung diseases usually occur due to intrinsic, extrinsic,  or neurological factors.

  1. Intrinsic restrictive lung diseases usually occur due to the stiffening that

    • Pneumonia
    • Acute respiratory distress syndrome
    • Tuberculosis
    • Sarcoidosis
    • Lobectomy
    • Pulmonary fibrosis
  2. Extrinsic restrictive lung diseases usually refer to those that originate
    outside the lungs.

    1. Scoliosis
    2. Obesity
    3. Pleural effusion
    4. Ascites
    5. Rib fractures
    6. Malignant tumors
  3. Neurological restrictive lung disease The disorders are caused by the  central nervous system even interferes with the movements to draw air into the lungs.
    1. Diaphragm paralysis
    2. Myasthenia gravis
    3. Muscular dystrophy.

What are the Symptoms of lung diseases?

There can be a very significant overlap in the symptoms between obstructive and restrictive lung diseases. However, the most common ones are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid respiratory rate
  • Persistent cough
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Here are the major Obstructive disease symptoms:
  • The lungs may feel chronically full or partially full.
  • Wheezing
  • Production of mucus Here are some restrictive disease symptoms:
  • Hard to breathe in enough air
  • The difficulties with breathing may lead to panic.

How to diagnose an obstructive or restrictive lung disease?

The diagnosis of either obstructive or restrictive lung diseases begins with any history or physical exam using various pulmonary function tests. The most  common test that are used to evaluate how well your lung’s function is  Spirometry. It can be helpful in differentiating obstructive and restrictive lung  diseases. The diagnosis of obstructive lung disease includes;

  1. Pulmonary Function testing This type of test can be performed with the assistance of the diagnosis of obstructive lung disease. The air is  breathed forcibly by the patient through a mouthpiece. At each step, the  volume of the air is released by a machine to determine the amount of air  movement in the lungs.
  2. Patient History  The questions about the overall health and symptoms are asked from the patient that includes exposure to any environmental irritants.
  3. Physical Exam A physical exam is performed by the physician regarding their overall health and the symptoms.
  4. Imaging tests Some major imaging tests are performed like X-ray or C-T Scan of the chest. When we talk about restrictive lung disease, a  pulmonary function test is ordered for the evaluation of total lung  capacity. There is various other tests for the complete diagnosis of the  disease. What are the treatments available for obstructive lung disease  and restrictive lung disease? By opening up narrow airways, the  treatment for obstructive lung disease works. Bronchospasm can be  caused by smooth muscle spasms in the airway walls.  Here are some  medications suggested by respiratory doctor in South Delhi:
  • Formoterol
  • Ipratropium
  • Albuterol
  • Salmeterol
  • Theophylline

However, the restrictive lung diseases are way too progressive which means they will worsen over time. The options include:

  1. Medications The medications that are most commonly used for  treating idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis are Ofev and Esbriet.
  2. Oxygen therapy Various people use this therapy to maintain their  blood oxygen levels.
  3. Cellular therapy This type of treatment involves promoting healing  within the patient’s lungs and enhancing the function of their lungs. The  ideal situation for any problem is to get a timely diagnosis. You must visit  the respiratory doctor in South Delhi to cure your lung diseases.  Waiting for the test results can be very frustrating for people. But there  are various steps involved in the acute diagnosis since it can be either  obstructive or restrictive. Dr. Satya Ranjan Sahu is the best  respiratory  specialist in South Delhi. So, what are you waiting for?
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