Pneumothorax : Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

 

Pneumothorax, Well it is called a collapsed lung, can be a painful and worrying experience. It generally happens when air gets into the space between the chest wall and the lung, called the pleural space. In this article, we are going to aware you about Pneumothorax and its symptoms, risk factor and more importantly the treatment.

 

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What is Pneumothorax?

 

A pneumothorax is a collapsed lung which usually starts when the air leaks into the space between the lung and chest wall. Thus, the air pushes on the outside of the lung and makes it collapse. It can be a complete lung collapse or a collapse of only a portion of the lung.

 

Pneumothorax Types:

 

There are 2 types of pneumothorax are – traumatic and nontraumatic. The type can lead to a tension pneumothorax if the air surrounding the lung increases in pressure. A tension pneumothorax is common in cases of trauma and requires emergency medical treatment.

 

What are the Causes of Pneumothorax?

 

Chest injury: Any penetrating injury to the chest causes lung collapse. There are some of the injuries happen during physical assaults or car crashes, while others may inadvertently happen during the medical procedures which involve the insertion of a needle into the chest.

 

Lung disease: As the damaged lung tissue is more likely to collapse. Lung damage can be caused by many types of underlying diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis and pneumonia.

 

Ruptured air blisters: Small air blisters can develop on the top of the lungs. These blisters sometimes burst allowing air to leak into space which surrounds the lungs.

 

Mechanical ventilation: This type of problem can happen in people who need mechanical assistance to breathe. This can create an imbalance of air pressure within the chest. In this condition, the lung collapse completely.

 

What are the Symptoms of Pneumothorax?

 

The symptoms of this condition can differ from mild to life-threatening include:

 

  • Shortness of breath
  • A strong chest pain
  • Sharp and strong pain when inhaling
  • Pressure in the chest which gets worse over time
  • Blue discoloration of the skin or lips
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing
  • Confusion or dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness or coma

 

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What are the Risk Factors of Pneumothorax?

 

Risk factors for this include:

 

Smoking: Smoking increases the high risk of this problem and other critical conditions.

 

Hereditary: Some fixed types of pneumothorax appear to run in families.

 

Lung disease: Having a critical or major lung disease especially chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) makes a collapsed lung more likely.

 

Mechanical ventilation: People who need mechanical ventilation to assist their breathing are at higher risk of the condition.

 

Previous pneumothorax: Anyone who has or had one of the pneumothorax is at a higher risk of having another.

 

Pneumothorax Diagnosis:

 

It is generally diagnosed using a chest X-ray. But in some conditions, a CT scan may be needed to provide more-detailed images. Although, ultrasound imaging also used to identify this problem.

 

Pneumothorax Treatment

 

The treatment is based on 4 phases such as:

 

  • Observation
  • Draining excess air
  • Pleurodesis
  • Surgery

 

I hope we have given proper and effective information about Pneumothorax. As we have discussed earlier its symptoms, causes, risk factors and treatment. The treatment is based on the condition, so whenever you start experiencing any of these above symptoms go and consult a doctor first.

 

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