Types of Lung Disease

Obstructive lung disease

Obstructive lung disease, also called COPD or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, affects the airways and air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs. The airways narrow or become blocked, decreasing the amount of air exhaled out of the lungs. People with obstructive lung disease may feel like they are trying to breathe out through a straw. Over time, the lungs may get bigger because the air gets trapped. Symptoms of COPD include shortness of breath, chest tightness, increased mucus, wheezing and coughing. Treatments may include medicines, inhalers, oxygen use, breathing retraining, exercise (pulmonary rehab), surgery or lung transplant.

Obstructive lung diseases include:

Restrictive lung disease

Restrictive lung disease, also called interstitial lung disease, may affect lung tissue by causing scarring, inflammation (swelling) or thickening of lung tissue. This makes the lungs unable to expand fully. It becomes hard for the lungs to take in oxygen and release carbon monoxide. Oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules have a hard time passing through the lung tissue to enter or exit the blood stream. Other conditions, such as obesity and scoliosis or side curve to the spine, may also prevent the lungs from expanding fully and be considered a restrictive lung disease. Symptoms of restrictive lung disease include shortness of breath, fatigue especially with activity, chest tightening and increased mucus. Treatments may include medicines to decrease swelling or the progression of the disease, breathing retraining, exercise, oxygen use, surgery or lung transplant.

Restrictive lung diseases include:

Other lung conditions: