Are you baffled by the idea that you now have a lung disease and the various treatment options? Well don’t be too surprised! Lung diseases are common and are treated differently depending upon the nature of your particular condition. Most doctors classify lung diseases as either obstructive or restrictive. While this may seem like a relatively simple way of keeping track of diseases, there are several key differences between each classification. To better understand your lung disease, let’s take a closer look at both obstructive and restrictive lung diseases.
Obstructive Lung Diseases
Obstructive lung diseases include conditions that make it hard to exhale all the air in the lungs. The damage to the lungs or the narrowing of the airways inside the lungs, causes air to come out a lot more slowly than normal. Usually, by the end of every breath, a lot of air remains in the lungs. Here are some of the most common conditions related to obstructive lung diseases:
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis
Obstructive lung disease makes it harder to breathe, especially during increased activity or exertion. As the rate of breathing increases, there is less time to breathe all the air out before the next inhalation. This distinguishes obstructive lung disease from restrictive forms of the disease.
Restrictive Lung Diseases
People with a restrictive lung disease have a much more difficult time filling their lungs with air. This is a result of the lungs being restricted from fully expanding. Most of the time, restrictive lung diseases occur when there is stiffness in the lungs themselves. Sometimes, this can occur when there is stiffness in the chest wall, weak muscles or damaged nerves that can restrict the expansion of the lungs. These are some of the conditions classified as restrictive lung disease:
Almost all lung diseases are tested by using a pulmonary function test. Obstructive and restrictive lung diseases can cause shortness of breath, severe coughing and chest pain. Treatments are different for each condition and will require a special treatment plan provided by your doctor. If you have been diagnosed or suspect that you might have a lung disease, you should talk to your doctor about your condition immediately. Be sure to ask the right questions and do some research on your lung disease.
Though the process of researching a potential lung disease can be stressful, remember you have options. The Lung Institute offers a variety of stem cell therapy options as a treatment for lung disease. If you or a loved one have lung disease and would like to know more, please contact us or call (800) 729-3065 to find out more information.