#4 – What causes restrictive lung disease? What can be done?

In this 4th episode of the podcast I discuss about restrictive lung disease.

Restriction means that the lungs cannot expand fully, therefore they cannot be fully inflated with air. 

I go over the many potential causes for restrictive lung disease, answering a question received on the channel. A restrictive pattern can be found on routine spirometry or sometimes more complex lung function tests are performed revealing lower than expected lung volumes (defining restriction). 

This can be due to issues outside of the lungs (chest deformity), pleural thickening restricting lung movement etc. Sometimes there may be a neuro-muscular disease which causes restriction. Within the lungs, there may be pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs), which again has very many causes. Sometimes restriction can be due to long term complications of infections such as tuberculosis. 

Treatment for lung restriction aims at treating the cause as much as possible. Sometimes there are not many effective therapies. Maintaining respiratory muscle strength is essential. 

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