Paper on Differences between Obstructive and Restrictive Disorder

Spirometry is a method used to diagnose and monitor certain lung conditions by measuring the volume of air a patient exhale after a maximum inspiration. The method is reliable for differentiating Restrictive from Obstructive disorder (Arne et al., 2010). It is also used to monitor disease severity.

The lung diseases are classified into either obstructive or restrictive. The obstructive disorder hinders a person’s ability to expel all the air in the lungs. The restrictive disorder, on the other hand, causes individuals to experience difficulty in expanding their lungs fully (Vanoirbeek et al., 2010). The disorders are characterized by shortness of breath with increased physical activities.

Obstructive Disorder

It is characterized by narrowing of the pulmonary trachea, which hinders the patient’s ability to exhale all air from the lungs. There is a bit of air that remains in the lungs at the end of every breath. Common conditions classified as obstructive disorders include Asthma, bronchiectasis, the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which encompasses emphysema, and chronic bronchitis (Zakharkina et al., 2013). It makes breathing harder mostly during increased activities. Obstructive lung disease can cause severe cough and chest pain.

Restrictive Disorder

Individuals suffering from restrictive disorder have a hard time expanding their lungs fully during inhalation. This makes it hard to fill the lungs with air. The condition may occur when the tissue in the chest wall becomes inflexible, or when one have damaged weak muscles or nerves (Fragoso et al., 2010). Common conditions related to restrictive disorder include interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, asbestosis, and sarcoidosis. Restrictive disorder causes shortness of breath and can also cause chest pain.



Arne, M., Lisspers, K., Ställberg, B., Boman, G., Hedenström, H., Janson, C., & Emtner, M. (2010). How often is diagnosis of COPD confirmed with spirometry?. Respiratory medicine104(4), 550-556.

Vanoirbeek, J. A., Rinaldi, M., De Vooght, V., Haenen, S., Bobic, S., Gayan-Ramirez, G., … &Janssens, W. (2010). Noninvasive and invasive pulmonary function in mouse models of obstructive and restrictive respiratory diseases. American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology42(1), 96-104.

Fragoso, C. A. V., Concato, J., McAvay, G., Van Ness, P. H., Rochester, C. L., Yaggi, H. K., & Gill, T. M. (2010). Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in older persons: a comparison of two spirometric definitions. Respiratory Medicine104(8), 1189-1196.

Zakharkina, T., Heinzel, E., Koczulla, R. A., Greulich, T., Rentz, K., Pauling, J. K., … & von Müller, L. (2013). Analysis of the airway microbiota of healthy individuals and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by T-RFLP and clone sequencing. PloS one8(7), e68302.