What is the difference between restrictive lung disease and obstructive lung disease?

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  • CJBig
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Restrictive is difficulty getting air into the lungs, Obstructive is difficulty getting air out of the lungs.

    Source(s): I am a respiratory therapist.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Restrictive and obstructive lung disease are two general patterns found on pulmonary function testing (PFT). Certain diseases can appear obstructive, restrictive, or both on PFT. A simplified model of the lung can be thought of as consisting of two components: the airways and the lung tissue. As you breathe, air goes in/out through the airways into the lungs, which expand & contract. In obstructive lung disease, the airways are blocked, preventing proper air flow to/from the lung tissue. Common obstructive diseases include asthma and COPD. In restrictive lung disease, the lung cannot expand/contract normally (but the airways are relatively normal), due to problems with the lung tissue, breathing muscles, nerves, or chest wall.

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  • gldjns
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Restrictive means you have limited capacity in your lungs and must curtail certain activities. Obstructive means there is a barrier to free breathing, such as asthma or pneumonia, and that something is blocking the airway causing a loss of oxygen to the lungs. If you suffer from either of these conditions, you should see a doctor ASAP to get the proper treatment.

  • 1 decade ago

    obstructive is one of the following diseases, cystic fibrosis, asthma, emphysema, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis. EVERYTHING else (lung disease is restrive). Restrictive has decreased lung volumes (the FVC will be lower).

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  • 1 decade ago

    craigtamb... has the exact right answer! Couldn't have said it better. I put in 15 years in medical field as RMA and CMT. Plus I have COPD and I know that the problem for me with breathing is not being able to empty my lungs all the way of air.

    Good luck!

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