Hyperinflation of the lungs is a common complication of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It happens when too much air gets trapped inside your lungs. When you can’t exhale properly, breathing can become difficult.

COPD is a group of lung diseases caused by long-term exposure to gases or irritants, including those found in cigarette smoke. These substances cause inflammation and damage lung tissue.

“Inflammation can make it harder to breathe, and it can narrow your airways over time. Air can get trapped in your lungs if you don’t have proper air flow. This can happen even if you have mild or severe COPD symptoms.”

Lung hyperinflation with COPD is a topic that you should learn more about. We will cover the causes of hyperinflation and options for diagnosis and treatment.

If you have hyperinflated lungs, this means that they’re holding too much air. This can contribute to shortness of breath (dyspnea), which is the primary symptom of COPD.

There are two types of hyperinflation:

  • Static hyperinflation. Static hyperinflation occurs when you’re at rest. It’s characterized by air getting trapped in your lungs while you exhale.
  • Dynamic hyperinflation. In dynamic hyperinflation, air gets trapped in your lungs when you inhale before fully exhaling. Dynamic hyperinflation typically happens during physical activity, but it can also happen at rest.

Hyperinflation of the lungs can happen.

  • Difficult exercising.
  • Quality of life has been reduced.
  • Increased illness

The main symptom of hyperinflated lungs is shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, even when doing light activities like walking upstairs.

Hyperinflation can occur with other symptoms of COPD. Some of the common COPD symptoms are:

Hyperinflation is unrelated to the underlying causes of COPD. The inflammation is caused by these causes.

The inflammation makes your airways narrow. This reduces the elasticity of your lungs, which makes them able to push out air when you exhale. You are unable to exhale. This can cause hyperinflation by trapping air in your lungs.

It can be difficult to breathe in fresh air if air is trapped in your lungs. This increases carbon dioxide levels.

COPD is a progressive disease. It gets worse over time. If you have been diagnosed with COPD, healthcare professionals will keep an eye on your lung function.

If they think you have hyperinflation, they will use the following tests to examine your lungs.

  • X-ray. A chest X-ray can show if your lungs are filled with too much air. Hyperinflated lungs can also flatten your diaphragm. This can also be seen on an X-ray.
  • CT scan. A CT scan, or CAT scan, creates a more detailed view of the structures in your body. This can help the doctor further examine your lungs or determine the best treatment.
  • Pulmonary function tests (PFTs). PFTs determine how well you can breathe and how effectively your lungs send oxygen to the rest of your body.

Treatment with hyperinflation is meant to improve your lungs ability to deflate.

Supplemental oxygen

Supplemental oxygen, or oxygen therapy, uses a device to supply your body with extra oxygen. It can be used in a hospital or at home.

Pulmonary rehabilitation

A medical professional will teach you how to improve your lung function. This involves components.

  • education
  • Exercise training.
  • advice on nutrition
  • counseling
  • lifestyle changes


Some medications can help relax your airway.

  • bronchodilators
  • The agonists of the alpha-2 family.
  • cholinergics


The following procedures might help manage COPD.

  • Lung volume reduction surgery. This procedure reduces hyperinflation caused by severe emphysema. This involves removing damaged parts of the lungs so that healthy tissue can function better.
  • Bullectomy. During a bullectomy, doctors remove large air pockets from the lungs.
  • Lung transplantation. A lung transplant for COPD involves replacing one or both lungs with healthy lung tissue from an organ donor.

“If you can’t manage your symptoms with Oxygen therapy, medication, and rehabilitation, you might be recommended for surgery.”

It is possible to have lungs that are not COPD. Hyperinflation can be caused by other lung problems.

Smoking cannabis is associated with lung hyperinflation.

COPD causes hyperinflation of the lungs. The lungs can not push out air when you exhale. Too much air gets stuck in your lungs, making it hard to breathe.

“A doctor can use an X-ray or a computed toms to diagnose lung hyperinflation. Supplemental oxygen, pulmonary rehabilitation, and medication are possible treatments. A doctor may recommend surgery if the therapies don’t work.”