Types of Obstructive Respiratory Disorders

By on June 10, 2013

Obstructive respiratory disorders are group of respiratory disorders, in which the patient experiences blockage in airway during respiration.

People with these disorders face difficulty to exhale all the air from the lungs, airway that easily collapses, and airway obstruction.

The most common obstructive lung diseases are asthma, bronchitis, emphysema, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Here are the most common types of obstructive respiratory disorders:

Obstructive Respiratory DisordersAsthma: Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory condition of the airways of the lungs that makes breathing difficult.

  • Causes: The common asthma causes are infections, weather conditions, allergic rhinitis, heredity cause, obesity, tobacco smoke and air pollution.
  • Symptoms: Broncho spasms, inflammation and mucus formation triggers asthma symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath and inability to perform daily activities like walking and talking.

Bronchitis: Next in the group of obstructive respiratory disorders comes the bronchitis, which is an infection of mucous membrane of your bronchial tubes that carry air to and from your lungs.

There are two types of bronchitis such as acute and chronic bronchitis. Acute bronchitis is very common and it often develops from cold and other respiratory infections.

  • Causes: The most common causes of chronic bronchitis are smoking cigarettes, air pollution and toxin gases in the workplace.
  • Symptoms: If you are suffering from bronchitis, you may experience some symptoms like cough, fatigue, production of mucus, slight fever, sometimes shortness of breath and discomfort in the chest.

Emphysema: Emphysema occurs when the air sacs in your lungs are gradually destroyed. Emphysema is included in a group of diseases called chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.

Emphysema characterized in obstructive respiratory disorders because airflow exhalation is stopped due to over inflation of the air sacs in the lungs.

  • Cause: This disease often caused by tobacco smoking and long-term exposure to air pollution.
  • Symptoms: Shortness of breath is the most common symptoms of emphysema.


Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is not just a disease; it is a group of lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease.

  • Causes: Smoking is the main cause of COPD as smoke irritates the airways and destroys the stretchy fibers in the lungs. The other risk factors are frequent use of cooking fire without proper ventilation and exposure to chemicals, fumes and pollution.
  • Symptoms: COPD affects different people in different ways.Its main symptoms are shortness of breath, chronic coughing, frequent respiratory infection and wheezing.

When it come to diagnosing obstructive respiratory disorders, there are several factors to be considers to determine the exact disorder, which the patient is facing. But, one thing is common in all these disorders i.e. FEV1/FVC ratio, which is in decreased levels.

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