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4166 Posts

Posted - Jul 05 2011 :  12:00:26 AM  Show Profile
COPD has two definitions - one as a disease and one as a group of diseases. One definition is as a disease of smokers combining components of Emphysema and Chronic Bronchitis.

The second is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases that include all diseases in this group - Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, Bronchecstasis and Asthma. All of these diseases produce obstruction of the airways and are chronic in nature. Obstructive lung diseases trap air and prevent the exhalation of the entire amount of the air from the lungs, making the exchange of O2/CO2 inefficient. Each does it differently.

They are different from Restrictive lung diseases that prevent the inhalation of air into the lungs due to one of a number of factors. When they describe scaring of the lungs, they may mean Bronchecstasis which is a scaring of the air pockets making them less elastic, allowing the trapping of air, or a diseases like Pulmonary Fibrosis that is scaring that makes the lung themselves less elastic and unable to expand to inhale the air (scarring or fibrosis, begins in the tissue between the air sacs, and the lung becomes stiff).

Dave, Forum Administrator
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