Inflammation of the airways causes swelling of the airways and causes obstructive symptoms of the airways such as shortness of breath and cough, etc.
In both asthma and COPDs (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis);There is obstruction of the airways and swelling of the airways, but these two categories of respiratory problems are fundamentally different, meaning that you should not think of asthma and COPD in the same way. What is the difference between these two respiratory problems?
You will read the answer to this question below.
What are the differences between asthma copds?
Before describing the differences between the two, it is best to know a little about asthma and copd:
What is asthma?
In asthma, the airways become inflamed, and swelling of the airways causes the space inside them to become very narrow. In addition, the muscles around the affected airways become stiff and the space inside the airways becomes thinner, Air flow through these narrow tubes will be difficult. Passing air through inflamed ducts in an asthmatic person produces a special breathing sound called wheezing, which is characteristic of asthma. Other symptoms of asthma include:
- Chest pain and heaviness
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Chronic sputum behind the throat
- Feeling tired
- Difficulty speaking
Asthma symptoms are usually referred to as flare-ups or asthma attacks. Asthma attacks increase following exercise, stress, respiratory allergies, and exposure to cold weather.
IN other words, a person’s favorable genetics, in the face of the above conditions, cause or increase inflammation of the airways and cause flare-up of asthma.
Viral infections, such as the common cold or the flu, can also play a role in flare-up of asthma.
What is Copd?
Inflammation and obstruction of the airways in this group of respiratory problems are increasing day by day. With appropriate treatments, the progression of the disorder can be slowed down to some extent.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a permanent and progressive obstruction of the airways that results in damage to the lungs due to prolonged stimulation with stimulants (Tobacco inhalation is commonly caused by cigarettes, pipes, cigarettes, etc.), shortness of breath and difficulty breathing and chronic sputum cough are symptoms of this obstructive respiratory disorder. A person with COPD may need oxygen therapy forever.
People with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease can experience two types of clinical conditions that differ in many ways:
- Pulmonary emphysema:
In emphysema, the lung tissue in the air sacs (alveoli) is destroyed, As long as it is normal, the lung tissue causes the small airways to remain open. By destroying the natural lung tissue, other small airways can no longer expel the air in the air sacs, so a lot of air will accumulate inside the lung sacs.
Progressive shortness of breath is one of the symptoms of emphysema, which sometimes prevents a person from performing normal daily activities, and finally it is concluded that even a person with emphysema has shortness of breath at rest and a feeling of heaviness in the chest and … are symptoms of pulmonary emphysema. A person with emphysema has distinctly enlarged chest and is constantly trying to get out of the efficient air that is trapped in the air sacs of his lungs.
- Chronic bronchitis:
Frequent irritation of the airways leads to chronic and progressive inflammation that may eventually lead to difficulty breathing at rest and extreme fatigue.
These people are characterized by coughs that contain a lot of white, yellow and gray sputum. Frequent coughing causes thinning and fatigue. Most people with chronic bronchitis have dark lips or oral mucosa.
With a brief overview of asthma and copd, we see that these two different groups have similar clinical symptoms.
So what makes the difference between asthma and copd?
It is very important to differentiate between asthma and COPD, the treatments in the two groups should be done according to the cause.
What is the difference between asthma and copd?
Both groups have respiratory problems caused by irritation and inflammation of the airways but the main difference is in the way the body reacts and the processes that cause inflammation of the airways.
The types of immune cells that cause inflammation are different in asthma and COPD.
In copds, neutrophils and macrophages play a major role in the progression of the disorder.
In asthma, another type of immune system cell called eosinophils (a type of white blood cell) and mast cells play an important role in inflammation.
Respiratory obstruction is reversible in asthma.
Respiratory obstruction in copds is irreversible and even progressive.
Clinical signs in asthma are seen intermittently. A person with asthma has symptoms only during asthma attacks, and there are no symptoms between attacks and airway obstruction but the clinical signs in a person with COPD do not go away and the person will always be symptomatic because airway obstruction in patients with COPD is irreversible.
What is the difference between a person with asthma and a copd in spirometry?
Spirometry is a diagnostic test for lung disease.
Spirometry has an index called FEV1, which shows the amount of air a person exhales from their lungs during a high-pressure exhalation.
This index is low in asthma attacks, but as the asthma attack resolves, FEV1 gradually rises, meaning that in asthma, inflammation and obstruction of the airways are reversible.
A patient with asthma can be symptom free for a long time between attacks.
But people with COPD will have their symptoms over time and will not go away completely, and these people will need constant oxygen.
One of the problems for physicians in dealing with people with symptoms such as shortness of breath, chronic sputum cough and fatigue is the correct diagnosis of the type of disorder. Asthma and COPD, despite the similarity in symptoms, should be considered separately in treatment.
Of course, there are a number of clients who suffer from both diseases at the same time, and this overlap of asthma and COPD, is called Asthma-COPD overlap (ACO), the diagnosis of this clinical case is very important Because having ACO will be more dangerous and serious than having asthma or COPD alone.
The exact cause of this disorder is not known but smoking in a person with asthma makes them prone to ACO over time.
Long-term infection with COPD can also cause changes in the ducts and concomitant asthma.
Both asthma and COPD are incurable, but asthma can be easily controlled with proper precautions and treatment, but COPD progresses and gets worse over time.
Asthma and COPD are not interchangeable, and not all people with asthma will necessarily develop COPD, or not all people with COPD will have asthma.
Asthma is a type of airway reaction to stimuli such as allergens, cold and dust, but COPD is caused by inflammation and long-term changes following tobacco inhalation (mainly).
The reactions in the ducts during an asthma attack are reversible, but unfortunately the damage to the lungs in the COPD will not be reversible,
Asthma is seen in children, especially children with a family history (children with atopia), while COPD will require both smoking and a long time to develop Changes, so we will see more COPD in the elderly and smokers.
In other words, asthma is more common in people under the age of forty and COPD is more common in people over the age of forty (in some references it is mentioned as thirty-five).
People with asthma have a personal or family background of atopia. Atopy predisposes to a variety of allergic reactions such as dermatitis and respiratory allergies and food allergies and asthma. But people with COPD do not have atopy.
People with asthma are asymptomatic between attacks if they receive appropriate treatment, but the symptoms of COPD do not go away and are permanent.
People with asthma show very good therapeutic responses to therapeutic compounds containing corticosteroids, but people with COPD unfortunately do not respond well to this class of drugs.
Asthma responds well to bronchodilators (airway dilators), but these drugs are not effective in people with CPD. Because the obstruction and inflammation of their airways is irreversible.
People with COPD are almost all smokers, while this history is absent or very low in people with asthma.
People with CPD often have a variety of underlying problems (such as heart problems, high blood pressure, etc.), but people with asthma often healthy In other respects.
Asthmatics may experience shortness of breath and worsening symptoms at night, but it is not uncommon for people with CPD to experience this condition.