Saturday, October 15, 2022
HomeMust ReadWhat Is The Difference Between Asthma And Emphysema

What Is The Difference Between Asthma And Emphysema

Are Asthma And Copd Disabilities

Difference between Asthma and Emphysema

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America , the American Disabilities Act and Section 504 state that having a mental or physical impairment that severely limits one or more life activities, including breathing, can be considered a disability.

For people with asthma, this applies even if symptoms only show at certain times, and if the person uses medication, such as an inhaler, to control the problem.

To qualify for social security disability benefits with COPD, a person must have:

  • A forced expiratory volume one that is the minimum for your height or less, from 1.05 to a person who is 5 feet tall to 1.65 to someone who is 6 feet tall.
  • Chronic impairment of gas exchange resulting from a documented COPD.

Those who do not meet these requirements may be able to get other types of help, such as as medical-vocational allowance for people on a low income.

What Are The Symptoms Of Asthma

Asthma also has other symptoms in common with colds and allergies, but signs that set asthma apart include:

  • A worsening cough at night, or when you are laughing or physically active.
  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Wheezing.;
  • Children with asthma may experience skin tightening around their ribs as they breathe rapidly.
  • Children may also experience colds much more frequently than expected or may find that it takes much longer to recover.;

Can Asthma Turn Into Copd

Asthma doesnt always lead to COPD, but it is a risk factor. Lung damage caused by poorly controlled asthma along with continual exposure to irritants like cigarette smoke or occupational chemicals and fumes is irreversible and can increase a persons risk of developing the lung disease COPD. It is possible to have both asthma and COPD, a condition called Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome .

Don’t Miss: Does Smoking Weed Make Asthma Worse

What Is The Number One Inhaler For Copd

Advair. Advair is one of the most commonly used inhalers for the maintenance treatment of COPD. It is a combination of fluticasone, a corticosteroid, and salmeterol, a long-acting bronchodilator. Advair is used on a regular basis for the maintenance treatment of COPD and it is typically taken twice per day.

Similarities And Differences In Regular Standard Treatment Of Asthma And Copd

Difference between asthma and emphysema
  • In both diseases the adequate treatment may reduce symptoms and number of exacerbations and improve the quality of life.

  • Treatment of asthma is characterized by suppression of inflammation.

  • Treatment of COPD is characterized by decreasing of symptoms.

The GOAL of treatment in ASTHMA is to: reduce inflammation and to achieve¸total control . The GOAL of treatment in COPD is to: reduce symptoms, prevent exacerbations and decrease mortality . In both asthma and COPD almost the same drugs are used, but not in the same order and the same efficiency in treatment.

You May Like: Weight Induced Asthma

Whos Likely To Have Asthma Copd Or Aco

People who smoke or breathe in pollution or chemicals at work for many years have higher chances of having COPD. That’s why the condition often starts in middle age or later in life.

Asthma is sometimes caused by gene changes that are passed down through families. If one of your parents has the disease, you’re more likely to have it.

Symptoms of asthma often start in childhood, and the condition is one of the most widespread long-term illnesses in kids. It affects about 1 in 10 children.

Besides a family history of the condition, a few things can raise your chances of asthma:

  • Smoking
  • Being around chemicals or other irritants in the air

People who get ACO tend to be over 40 but younger than people with just COPD, and they have allergies .

Does Exercise Help Emphysema Or Copd

Though it may surprise you, exercise is an essential part of maintaining your respiratory health, even with COPD and emphysema. Exercise helps improve your circulation, which can help with your bodyâs oxygenation. It also helps keep your lungs and airways as elastic as possible and in good shape, which ultimately helps you breathe easier. Talk to your doctor about what kind of moderate exercise is best for you, but generally speaking, a daily walk, swimming session or bike ride are great options. Stretching and resistance training are also helpful and can help keep your muscles as strong and flexible as possible. If you feel short of breath during regular exercise, talk to your doctor about what you should do to improve your endurance. You may need to adjust how you exercise or incorporate oxygen therapy into your exercise routine.

You May Like: Does Medicare Cover Asthma Inhalers

Asthma Is Caused By An Overactive Immune Response

Researchers think this is due to asthma genes. These genes tell immune cells to recognize otherwise innocuous substances in the air as harmful. These immune cells initiate an all out assault on these substances. This results in the release of chemicals that cause airway inflammation. This inflammation is what causes asthma symptoms.

Inflammatory Cells In Asthmatic Airways

Difference Between Asthma & COPD

Mast cells -activated mucosal mast cells release bronchoconstrictor mediatorshistamine, cysteinyl leukotriens, prostaglandin D2. They are activated by allergens through IgE receptors or by osmotic stimuli . Eosinophils are in increased number in airways, release basic proteins that may damage epithelial cells, and have a role in releasing a growth factors and airway remodeling , T lymphocytes are in increased number and release specific cytokines, including IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, IL-13 that orchestrate eosinophilic inflammation and IgE production by B lymphocytes . There may also be an increase in inKT cells which release large amounts of T helper: Th1 and Th2 cytokines . Dendritic cells,Macrophages are in increased number, and release inflammatory mediators and cytokines that amplify the inflammatory response . Nutrophils are in increased number in airways and sputum of patients with severe asthma and in smoking asthmatics, but the role of these cells is uncertain and their increase may even be due to steroid therapy .

Recommended Reading: What To Do If Someone Is Having An Asthma Attack

How To Improve Your Copd Emphysema Symptoms

When it comes to treating emphysema vs. COPD, your doctor may choose a combination of treatments for the best results. While COPD and emphysema cannot be cured, your COPD emphysema symptoms can be treated. Most often, your doctor will prescribe medication to help you breathe easier, along with a therapy like pulmonary rehabilitation or oxygen therapy. Pulmonary rehabilitation can improve your exercise tolerance and help you learn to breathe more effectively, while also providing counseling and education to help you stay as healthy as possible. Oxygen therapy can be used in conjunction with pulmonary rehab or medication to help improve your oxygen saturation and help you breathe better, particularly during physical activity.

Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets

Oral steroids carry a risk if they are taken for more than three months or if they are taken frequently . Side effects can include:

  • easy bruising ;
  • muscle weakness

With the exception of increased appetite, which is very commonly experienced by people taking oral steroids, most of these unwanted effects are uncommon.

However, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them regularly, especially side effects that are not immediately obvious, such as high blood pressure, thinning of the bones, diabetes and glaucoma.

You will need regular appointments to check for these.

Want to know more?

Read Also: Can Older Adults Develop Asthma

Difference Between Emphysema And Copd

  • COPD ;;is a lung disease characterized by chronic obstruction of lung airflow that interferes with normal breathing and is not fully reversible.
  • COPD;a combination of respiratory diseases including chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.
  • Thus, Emphysema is a part of COPD.

Image Courtesy:

Blausen 0343 Emphysema;By Blausen Medical Communications, Inc. Donated via OTRS via Commons Wikimedia;

Copd 2010Side;By National Heart Lung and Blood Institute; via Commons Wikimedia;

Differences Between Copd And Asthma

Asthma and COPD â Overlapping Disorders or Distinct ...

There are a number of other differences between COPD and asthma as well.

  • Often diagnosed during childhood or adolescence

  • Symptoms more likely to occur episodically and/or at night

  • Commonly triggered by allergens, cold air, exercise

  • People who have asthma are more commonly nonsmokers

  • Comorbid conditions include eczema and allergic rhinitis

  • Treatment usually involves inhaled steroids

  • Airflow restriction mostly reversible

  • Likely to cause morning cough, increased sputum, and persistent symptoms

  • Exacerbations commonly triggered by pneumonia and flu or pollutants

  • Most people who have COPD have smoked or had significant secondhand smoke exposure

  • Comorbid conditions include coronary heart disease or osteoporosis

  • Treatment usually involves pulmonary rehabilitation

  • Airflow restriction is permanent or only partially reversible

Once you develop COPD, your symptoms will generally be chronic. Over time, with COPD, you are likely to experience symptoms that are not typical for asthmalosing weight, decreased strength, and diminished endurance, functional capacity, and quality of life.

You May Like: Does Asthma Cause Coughing At Night

Airflow Restriction: Reversible Or Permanent

  • Asthma treatment generally returns lung function to normal or near-normal and you should not have many asthma symptoms between asthma exacerbations. Airflow restriction in asthma is generally considered reversible, though some people who have severe asthma develop irreversible damage.
  • Even with COPD treatment, airflow restriction and lung function will likely not return to normal or may only partially improveeven with smoking cessation and bronchodilator usage.

Pulmonary Function Test In Asthmatics With And Without Emphysema

FEV1 was decreased in asthmatics with emphysema , compared to the patients without emphysema , but it was not statistically different. Also FVC , FEV1/FVC , RV , TLC and RV/TLC were not significantly different. DLco/VA was not significantly different between asthmatics without emphysema and with emphysema .

Don’t Miss: Does Asthma Attack Cause Fever

Asthma Vs Copd: The Differences

Let’s look at the differences between Asthma and COPD

Asthma is an inflammatory lung condition that affects your respiratory airways and can cause severe breathing difficulties.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorders is a group of inflammatory lung conditions that cause an obstruction in the airflow from your lungs. The most common COPDs are Emphysema, chronic Bronchitis, chronic Asthma.

Pulmonary Rehabilitation For Copd

Chronic Bronchitis VS Emphysema | Comparison | Pulmonology

Pulmonary rehabilitation has clear benefits for patients with COPD. Exercise increases endurance, improves shortness of breath, increases maximal oxygen consumption, and improves quality of life. Numerous studies have documented improvement in symptoms, maximum oxygen consumption, and quality-of-life measures. A decrease in the number of hospitalizations has also been shown in patients who participate in pulmonary rehabilitation programs.

Benefits do vary among individuals, however, and consistent participation in an exercise regimen is necessary to maintain improvements. In addition, it has not been shown that pulmonary rehabilitation produces any change in pulmonary function tests or overall oxygen requirements for individuals.

Also Check: What Kind Of Specialist Treats Asthma

What Are Symptoms Of Emphysema

Symptoms of emphysema may include coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and an increased production of mucus. Often times, symptoms may not be noticed until 50 percent or more of the lung tissue has been destroyed. Until then, the only symptoms may be a gradual development of shortness of breath and tiredness , which can be mistaken for other illnesses. People who develop emphysema have an increased risk of pneumonia, bronchitis, and other lung infections. See your doctor if any of these symptoms arise:

  • Shortness of breath, especially during light exercise or climbing steps
  • Ongoing feeling of not being able to get enough air
  • Long-term cough or smokers cough
  • Wheezing

Evaluating Asthma And Copd Symptoms And Causes

Because they are both lung diseases that inhibit regular breathing, asthma and COPD share many similarities in both symptoms and causes. The inflammatory immune reactions that cause an asthma attack are often triggered by airborne substances like smoke, dust, pollen, pet dander, mites and mold spores. COPD is caused by long-term exposure to lung irritants, such as cigarette smoke, toxic fumes and chemicals, which results in damaged lung cells.

While there are many external factors like tobacco smoke and secondhand smoke that can cause COPD or asthma, inherited genetic factors can also play a role in susceptibility to either of the diseases. For instance,;alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency;is also referred to as inherited emphysema. Because of their similar causes and the way they affect the lungs, COPD symptoms can oftentimes look like an asthma attack and vice versa.

Here are the symptoms that may be found in both those with asthma and those with COPD:

Although the symptoms of COPD and asthma have a great amount of overlap and similarities, there are some subtle differences among them. For example, the chronic cough often experienced by those with COPD tends to produce far more phlegm and mucus than the amount produced by asthma. For this reason, a chronic cough is much more common in those with COPD than with asthma.

Recommended Reading: Can Green Tea Cause Asthma

Diagnosing Asthma And Copd

With all the similarities between asthma and COPD symptoms, it can be challenging to diagnose each disease correctly without mistaking one for the other. Asthma is the most common alternative diagnosis for COPD. However, it is important to correctly identify which condition a patient is dealing with so they can receive the proper treatment.

When a patient has symptoms that pertain to both asthma and COPD, there are a few key factors that differentiate the two. To develop an accurate diagnosis, medical professionals will ask patients dealing with breathing issues specific questions about their symptoms, such as what time of day they feel the worst. They will also inquire about the patient’s medical, family and smoking histories and exposure to irritants, as well as gases or vapors.

How Asthma Is Treated

Difference Between Bronchitis and Asthma

While there is no cure for asthma, there are a number of treatments that can help control the condition.

Treatment is based on two important goals, which are:

  • relieving symptoms;
  • preventing future symptoms and attacks

For most people, this will involve the occasional or, more commonly, daily use of medications, usually taken using an inhaler. However, identifying and avoiding possible triggers is also important.

You should have a personal asthma action plan agreed with your doctor or nurse that includes information about the medicines you need to take, how to recognise when your symptoms are getting worse, and what steps to take when they do so.

These symptoms are often worse at night and early in the morning, particularly if the condition is not well controlled. They may also develop or become worse in response to a certain trigger, such as exercise or exposure to an allergen.

Read our page on the;causes of asthma for more information about potential triggers.

Speak to your GP if you think you or your child may have asthma. You should also talk to your doctor or asthma nurse if you have been diagnosed with asthma and you are finding it difficult to control the symptoms.

You May Like: Is Asthma An Illness Or Disease

Airway Inflammation In Asthma

The airway inflammation in asthma is persistent even though symptoms are episodic, and the relationship between the severity of asthma and the intensity of inflammation is not clearly established .The inflammation affects all airways including in most patients the upper respiratory tract and nose but its physiological effects are most pronounced in medium sized bronchi . The pattern of inflammation in the airways appears to be similar in all clinical form of asthma, whether allergic, non-allergic, or aspirin-induced and at all ages .

Is It Asthma Copd Or Both

Both asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , including emphysema and chronic bronchitis, make breathing difficult. In fact, they share many similarities. However, they are different lung diseases. Asthma-COPD overlap syndrome is diagnosed when you have symptoms of both asthma and COPD. ACOS is not a separate disease, but rather a way for doctors to recognize the mix of symptoms and select a treatment plan that is most appropriate for you.

Also Check: How Do People Control Their Asthma

Effect On The Alveoli

Think of the alveoli like tiny clusters of balloons. They inflate and deflate when you breathe. When the alveoli become damaged, however, they lose their ability to recoil properly. This in turn makes it difficult to breathe.

As alveoli become permanently stretched and their walls rupture, the lungs will have trouble taking in oxygen and breathing out carbon dioxide. This forces the heart and lungs to work harder and decreases the oxygen available to other organs and tissues, causing further damage.

Similaraties And Differences In Acute Exacerbation Of Asthma And Copd

Difference Between COPD and Asthma
  • Pathology is different in exacerbation of asthma and COPD

  • Causes of acute exacerbation of asthma and COPD are different.

  • Different role of LABA and ICS in prophylaxis of exacerbation of asthma and COPD.

  • Treatment of acute exacerbation is similar in asthma and COPD.

Acute exacerbation of Asthma

Triggers of acute exacerbation of asthma are usually: allergens, infections , GE reflux, other triggers, sometimes and co-morbidity .

Pharmacotherapy of acute asthma exacerbation

  • Bronchodilators ;

  • corticosteroids . Other therapy

  • oxygen therapy ;

  • non -invasive mechanical ventilation ;

  • antibiotics;

  • epinephrine rarely in a very serious asthma attack;

  • He/Ox rarely and MgSO4 intravenously rarely.

Acute exacerbation of COPD

Triggers of acute exacerbation of COPD are usually: infections , airpollution, GE reflux, sometimes and co-morbidity .

Pharmacotherapy of acute COPD exacerbation:

  • Bronchodilators ;

  • antibiotics in patients with severe exacerbation Other therapy:

  • oxygen therapy ;

  • non -invasive mechanical ventilation .

Also Check: Is Asthma An Airborne Disease

The Differences Between Copd And Asthma

Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are both respiratory diseases involving chronic inflammation that leads to airflow obstruction. While they share similar symptoms, their causes and treatments differ. In some cases, asthma and COPD may overlap in what is termed asthma-COPD overlap syndrome, or ACOS.

However, the frequency and predominating symptoms in asthma and COPD are different. With COPD, you are more likely to experience a morning cough, increased amounts of sputum, and persistent symptoms. If you have asthma, you are more likely to experience episodic symptoms during and/or at night.

Another difference between asthma and COPD is the intermittent symptoms seen with asthma versus the chronic, progressive symptoms seen in COPD. Asthma symptoms are likely to occur after exposure to specific triggers, whereas COPD symptoms occur more regularly.


Most Popular