Obstructive lung disorder (OLD) is an umbrella term for lung disorders that are characterized by a limitation of airflow. The two most common kinds of OLDs are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, but bronchiectasis and cystic fibrosis are also OLDs.
- In asthma, the airways are obstructed when they become inflamed, usually in response to a trigger. This inflammation and resulting obstruction of the airways is reversible. These triggers may include dust, cats, pollen from trees and plants, or cigarette smoke.
- In COPD, the obstruction of the airways can be caused by inflammation of airways, emphysema, or an excess of mucus. The airway obstruction associated with COPD is generally not fully reversible.
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