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Restrictive Lung Disease Questions

What is restrictive lung disease as well as the causes?

Restrictive lung disease also known as restrictive ventilator defects; which restricts the lung expansion. Decreased lung volume, increased work of breathing, and insufficient oxygenation or ventilation is a result of this disease. Pulmonary function tests show there is also a decrease in the forced vital capacity. 

Restrictive lung disease causes can be because of intrinsic or extrinsic to the parenchyma of the lung. Intrinsic causes include asbestosis, radiation fibrosis, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, acute respiratory distress syndrome, infant respiratory distress syndrome, certain types of drugs, or as a result of another disease. There are many cases of this disease that have no known cause. The unknown causes are called idiopathic such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, idiopathic interstitial pneumonia, etc. 

Restrictive lung disease may cause alarm for individuals. Uncertainties about exercises, treatment, or prognosis may often lead to questions similar to those answered below by Experts.

What are restrictive lung disease treatments and is there a cure?

Most changes that occur from restrictive lung disease are irreversible. Medications can be given for this disease such as corticosteroids, immunosuppressive agents, and cytotoxic agents. The most commonly used medication is corticosteroids. Restrictive lung disease treatment will depend upon the underlying cause. Bronchodilators are also used in treatment of this disease. If medical treatment fails lung transplantation may be considered.

Is it possible to have restrictive lung disease with no shortness of breath?

It is common for there to be cases of this disease where no symptoms are present in the early stages. Not having restrictive lung disease symptoms such as shortness of breath does not rule out the diagnosis. Diagnosis is often determined based on the pattern of decrease in FEV1 (forced expiratory volume in 1).

Does having restrictive lung function mean you have restrictive lung disease?

Having restrictive lung function does not indicate having restrictive lung disease. Lung tissue can often be normal with restrictive lung function. This is caused by conditions outside of the lungs such as respiratory muscle weakness or deformity of the chest walls.

What specific exercises are good for restrictive lung disease?

There are specific exercises that can be used for restrictive lung disease. Individuals with this disease should practice a regular walking regime. Once begun the distance and speed should be increased gradually. Often, the oxygen saturation will be monitored during this exercise in case oxygen support is needed. Individuals can also use a treadmill as exercise for this disease. In some cases a treadmill can replace walking once endurance and lung capacity is regained. Additionally, deep breathing exercises can be used. This is performed by breathing in and holding the air as long as possible and then gradually releasing the air from the lungs.

What is the difference between obstructive and restrictive lung diseases?

Restrictive lung disease indicates that the lungs cannot fully expand. They cannot adequately fill with air. Obstructive lung disease indicates a difficulty with the lungs to expel air. An abnormal amount of air will still remain in the lungs.

Obtaining the right kind of knowledge regarding restrictive lung disease can prove to be helpful when faced with questions about this disease. Experts can help answer questions about restrictive lung disease symptoms or how to test for this disease. Get your questions answered by asking an Expert.

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