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Overview

Pneumothorax - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

Pneumothorax is a condition, whereby air gets collected in the plural cavity, the space between the chest wall and the lungs. This results in collapse of the lung on the affected part. The severity of this condition and the extent of the collapse depends on the amount of air that got deposited in the plural cavity.

This condition is can be classified into two main types:

  • Primary or Spontaneous Pneumothorax: This is a pneumothorax that happens in healthy people.
  • Secondary Pneumothorax: This condition is a pneumothorax that happens because of underlying pulmonary diseases. Like rupture of a cyst or congenital bulla in patients suffering from COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).

The consequence and management of secondary pneumothorax is significantly greater as it happens to patients with pre-existing lung diseases.

The other causes for developing this condition are:

Traumatic pneumothorax that occurs following a deep chest trauma such as a gunshot, a stab wound or a fractured rib. Iatrogenic pneumothorax, which can happen following intravenous medical procedures like central line placement, percutaneous liver biopsy, lung biopsy or following a mechanical ventilation procedure. Catamenial pneumothorax that happens at the time of menstruation. Catamenial pneumothorax represent 3 to 6 percent of spontaneous pneumothorax in women, who are between 30 to 40 years and have a history of pelvic endometriosis in 20 to 40 percent of the cases. Catamenial pneumothorax typically happens in the right lung of the patients, within 72 hours from the onset of menstruation.

For diagnosis of lung collapse, the doctor listens to the patient’s lung with the help of a stethoscope, while asking the patient to breathe in and out deeply. If there is a pneumothorax then the doctor will have trouble hearing breath sounds while listening to the affected lung. The doctor may also order for an imaging test, to find a better view of the patient’s lung. Generally a chest X-ray or a CT scan is advised for diagnosing patients with collapsed lungs. The only treatment for pneumothorax is to restore normal functioning of the lungs, by eradicating external pressure on the lungs. Normally a small or mild pneumothorax doesn’t require any treatment. In this case the doctor generally monitors the patient’s condition and ensures that it gets better over time. Sometimes oxygen therapy is prescribed to provide extra oxygen to the lungs. Additionally patients suffering from lung collapse are advised to take plenty of rest.

If the pneumothorax is large, doctor can use a needle to remove air from the plural cavity.

Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test always required Short-term: resolves within days to weeks
Symptoms
Shortness of breath

Popular Health Tips

Homeopathic Remedies for Chest Congestion!!

Dr. Himani Negi 92% (18407 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Chennai
Homeopathic Remedies for Chest Congestion!!
Chest pain may be caused by multiple problems within the body and while being a problem in itself, may also be a symptom of a bigger underlying problem. Chest pain may be caused by anything from simple chest congestion due to a cold to something far more serious such as the onset of a heart attack. While it is important that life style changes be made to prevent major issues, homeopathy can provide relief for many symptoms till extensive medical steps are taken to correct the problem. Some causes of chest pain- Angina Onset of a heart attack Atherosclerosis Weakness of the arteries Weakness of the heart muscle Palpitations Bradycardia Chest congestion or cold Symptoms associated with chest pain Stable angina Vice like constriction or choking, pain may be spread to right or left arm or both, dyspnoea before pain. Unstable angina Chest pain occurs at rest. Pericarditis Pain radiates to the left side of the shoulder which gets worse by lying in a flat position. Pneumothorax Severe chest pain along with shortness of breath, cyanosis, restlessness and collapse. Pneumonia Sharp pain which, gets worse by taking deep breath and coughing. Pulmonary embolism Short rapid breathing, sharp pain in middle of the chest that is worse by deep breathing. Gastroesophagial reflux disease Difficult painful swallowing, pain in the middle of chest which, extends to neck, back and shoulders. Myocardial Vomiting, dyspnoea features of shock, profuse sweating, fever, low blood pressure, pulse small rapid and irregular Homeopathic remedies for various kinds of chest pain Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which a patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat chest pain, but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility of the patient. For this patient s current symptoms, past medical history and family history are taken into account. There are many homeopathic remedies which cover the symptoms of chest pain and can be selected on the basis of cause, location, sensation, modalities and extension of the pain. For individualized remedy selection and treatment of chest pain, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. In medical emergencies like myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolism, immediate hospitalization is usually required. Some important remedies are given below for the treatment of chest pain: Arnica mont. Chest pain with sore and bruised feeling. Ranunculus b. Good remedy for intercostal rheumatism, sharp stitching pain in the chest along with dyspnoea. Kali carb. Stitching pain in the chest, which gets worse between 2-3 A.M Actea racemosa. Pain worse on the right side. Bryonia Chest pain is of stitching, burning and stabbing in nature, is worse by motion and better by rest and pressure. Thirst for large quantities of water and dryness of mucous membranes often accompanies. Rumex c. Sharp stitching pain through the left lung, often with cough. Stannum Knife like stitches, worse on bending forward and left side. Phosphorus Violent tickling cough, chest pain due to tuberculosis of lungs or pneumonia along with oppression of the chest. Aconite Chest pain due to pneumonia of first stage along with anxiety and restlessness. Robinia Burning pain behind sternum due to hyperacidity. Strophanthus Chest pain is of stitching and twitching in nature and often of cardiac origin.

How to Identify If Chest Pain Is Related to a Heart Problem?

Dr. Jitesh Arora 91% (55 ratings)
MD - Cardiology, PG Diploma In Clinical Cardoology
Cardiologist, Rudrapur
How to Identify If Chest Pain Is Related to a Heart Problem?
The term 'chest pain is a very common term and is usually used in day to day life. Basically, chest pain refers to the pain that may generate in your chest, shoulder and can travel to your ribs, jaws and towards your arms. The feeling of the pain can be sharp or dull, depending on the severity of your condition and cause. There can be several reasons behind chest pain. You need to conduct a few tests to examine the real cause of the chest pain. It is always advised by health experts to take the symptoms of chest pain very seriously in order to avoid any serious problem in the future. Most of the severe and life-threatening diseases behind chest pain involve lung and heart problems. People having serious heart problems often feel discomfort, followed by pain in their chest area. Symptoms Chest pain which is related to any heart disease such as heart attack usually has symptoms like: Feeling of fullness and tightness in the chest region Vomiting Nausea Burning or crushing pain, which travels from the chest to jaw, hands and back region. Weakness Breathing problem Usually, it is very tough to distinguish whether the pain is associated with a heart problem or not. But generally chest pains which are not related to heart problems involves symptoms like Sensation in your mouth Problem in swallowing food Pain that worsens when you cough Burning sensation in your chest Common causes of chest pain Angina: Angina is a medical condition described as a feeling of discomfort or pain in the chest region. This situation occurs when your heart muscles don't receive blood, which contains rich oxygen. Angina is a symptom of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). The pain can take place in your shoulder, jaw, neck and arms also. Lung problems: People with lung disorders can encounter various types of chest pains. But some common causes are: Pleurisy: It is a type of medical condition, which occurs due to inflammation of the lining of chest and lungs. Due to this, you feel a sharp pain at the time of breathing, coughing or sneezing. Pneumonia: It is a type of lung infection, which causes chest pain. Pneumothorax: It is a type of lung disorder, which occurs when a portion of your chest gets collapsed. Asthma: It is a type of condition, which occurs due to shortness of breath and causes chest pain while coughing, sneezing and breathing. Gastrointestinal problem: Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is also a common reason for chest pain such as burning sensation in your heart. Other causes of chest pain: There are several other reasons of chest pain such as muscle strain, ribs injury, shingles, anxiety and panic attacks. It is always important to visit a physician whenever you encounter any of such chest pain symptoms.
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8 Causes Of Chest Pain You Should Know!

Dr. Prabir Ganguly 89% (42 ratings)
Bachelor in Homoeopathic Medicine & Surgery (BHMS)
Homeopath, Dhanbad
8 Causes Of Chest Pain You Should Know!
Chest pain may be caused by multiple problems within the body and while being a problem in itself, may also be a symptom of a bigger underlying problem. Chest pain may be caused by anything from simple chest congestion due to a cold to something far more serious such as the onset of a heart attack. While it is important that life style changes be made to prevent major issues, homeopathy can provide relief for many symptoms till extensive medical steps are taken to correct the problem. Some causes of chest pain 1. Angina 2. Onset of a heart attack 3. Atherosclerosis 4. Weakness of the arteries 5. Weakness of the heart muscle 6. Palpitations 7. Bradycardia 8. Chest congestion or cold Symptoms associated with chest pain Stable angina Vice like constriction or choking, pain may be spread to right or left arm or both, dyspnoea before pain. Unstable angina Chest pain occurs at rest. Pericarditis Pain radiates to the left side of the shoulder which gets worse by lying in a flat position. Pneumothorax Severe chest pain along with shortness of breath, cyanosis, restlessness and collapse. Pneumonia Sharp pain which, gets worse by taking deep breath and coughing. Pulmonary embolism Short rapid breathing, sharp pain in middle of the chest that is worse by deep breathing. Gastroesophagial reflux disease Difficult painful swallowing, pain in the middle of chest which, extends to neck, back and shoulders. Myocardial Vomiting, dyspnoea features of shock, profuse sweating, fever, low blood pressure, pulse small rapid and irregular Homeopathic remedies for various kinds of chest pain Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which a patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat chest pain, but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility of the patient. For this patient s current symptoms, past medical history and family history are taken into account. There are many homeopathic remedies which cover the symptoms of chest pain and can be selected on the basis of cause, location, sensation, modalities and extension of the pain. For individualized remedy selection and treatment of chest pain, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. In medical emergencies like myocardial infarction and pulmonary embolism, immediate hospitalization is usually required. Some important remedies are given below for the treatment of chest pain: Arnica mont. Chest pain with sore and bruised feeling. Ranunculus b. Good remedy for intercostal rheumatism, sharp stitching pain in the chest along with dyspnoea. Kali carb. Stitching pain in the chest, which gets worse between 2-3 A.M Actea racemosa. Pain worse on the right side. Bryonia Chest pain is of stitching, burning and stabbing in nature, is worse by motion and better by rest and pressure. Thirst for large quantities of water and dryness of mucous membranes often accompanies. Rumex c. Sharp stitching pain through the left lung, often with cough. Stannum Knife like stitches, worse on bending forward and left side. Phosphorus Violent tickling cough, chest pain due to tuberculosis of lungs or pneumonia along with oppression of the chest. Aconite Chest pain due to pneumonia of first stage along with anxiety and restlessness. Robinia Burning pain behind sternum due to hyperacidity. Strophanthus Chest pain is of stitching and twitching in nature and often of cardiac origin. Digitalis - Digitalis is known chiefly for its action on the heart, and it is rare that a patient suffering from an affection of that organ does not get Digitalis in some form. Cactus - Perhaps the most important remedy in heart affections,from the homoeopathist s standpoint, is Cactus. Lachesis - Lachesis is the best natural Homeopathic medicine when episodes of fainting occur along with Palpitations during menopause. The women needing Lachesis have an aversion to wear any tight clothing.
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MBBS, DNB - Respiratory Medicine
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Dr. (Brig.) Ashok K. Rajput 88% (96 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Pulmonary Medicine, DNB - Pulmonary Medicine, MD - Internal Medicine, Diploma in Tuberculosis and Chest Diseases (DTCD)
Pulmonologist, Delhi
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome - 10 Things You Might Not Know About It!
If you are experiencing difficulty in breathing or rapid breathing, shortness of breath and low blood pressure, you might have been affected with acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS. This is a fatal lung condition in which the supply of oxygen to the lungs and into the blood gets prevented. The symptoms of this syndrome develop within two days of the illness. Here are 10 important facts about ARDS you should know about: Because of the low level of oxygen in the blood, the organs of the body may not function properly. The kidneys and brain require constant oxygen-rich blood supply and there are chances of organ failure due to ARDS. Commonly, people who get ARDS are already in hospital for some other health problem. People who are not hospitalised may get ARDS because of conditions such as pneumonia. In ARDS, the tiny blood vessels of the lungs leak more fluid than usual into the air sacs of the lungs. This happens because of infections, injuries or some other condition. The lungs cannot get filled up with air and sufficient oxygen is prevented from getting pumped into the bloodstream. Several factors also lead to ARDS. These include sepsis, severe bleeding due to any injury on the head or chest, breathing in harmful smoke, or inhaling vomited content of the stomach from the mouth. People who are prone to ARDS have some condition that may injure their lungs directly or indirectly. The initial symptoms of ARDS include a feeling of not getting sufficient air in the lungs, low oxygen levels in the blood and rapid breathing. The diagnosis of ARDS depends on your medical history and the results from several tests and physical examinations. The treatment of ARDS is undertaken by oxygen therapy, medicines and fluids. A patient with ARDS is likely to develop some other health condition while in the hospital, such as lung scarring, blood clots, infections and pneumothorax. Many people recover from ARDS completely while others keep on facing certain health problems, such as shortness of breath, muscle weakness, depression and fatigue. Problems related to memory and clear thinking are also indicated. By improving your quality of life, you can recover from ARDS. You need the support and encouragement of your family and friends. You must avoid smoking and keep away from any kind of lung irritant. The treatment for ARDS has showed progress in the recent years. Hence, more people are recovering from this condition. New treatment procedures are being researched on. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pulmonologist.
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Popular Questions & Answers

Dear sir My mother is suffering problems in left lungs that problem is according to doctor report 1.Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax (L.L) 2.broncho pleural fistula 3. F/C/O DLPD (likely sarcoidosis) 4. Diabetes mellitus type 2 Please help me what can you do for best treatment.

Dr. Ritez Kumar 89% (659 ratings)
MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine
General Physician, Delhi
For pneumothorax you need to put a chest tube. For bronchi pleural fistula she will probably need videoscopy assisted pleuro deisy. For sarcoid treatment will depend on stage. Diabetes treatment has to be individualized also. Let the chest physician decide what best to do. Regards.

What is pneumothorax lung disease? I can't understand. And what is the reason of this disease. Please help me.

Dr. Surbhi Agrawal 90% (18746 ratings)
PDDM, MHA, MBBS
General Physician, Nashik
A pneumothorax (noo-moe-thor-aks) is a collapsed lung. A pneumothorax occurs when air leaks into the space between your lung and chest wall. This air pushes on the outside of your lung and makes it collapse. In most cases, only a portion of the lung collapses. A pneumothorax can be caused by a blunt or penetrating chest injury, certain medical procedures, or damage from underlying lung disease. Or it may occur for no obvious reason. Symptoms usually include sudden chest pain and shortness of breath. On some occasions, a collapsed lung can be a life-threatening event.

What is pneumothorax lung disease? I can't understand. And what is the reason of this disease. Please help me.

Dr. Mool Chand Gupta 92% (33895 ratings)
MD PULMONARY, DTCD
Pulmonologist, Faridabad
It is collection of air between parietal and visceral pleuta. Can be spontaneous, tromatic, and due to some lung disease

I am suffering of pneumothorax, it occur 3 time in 2 year, but by CT scan it is due to bullea in left lower lobe.

Dr. Surbhi Agrawal 90% (18746 ratings)
PDDM, MHA, MBBS
General Physician, Nashik
Strategies for the prevention of recurrent pneumothorax include observation, surgical and nonsurgical pleurodesis, and bleb resection. Other important points to keep in mind include the following: prompt recognition and treatment of bronchopulmonary infections decreases the risk of progression to a pneumothorax. When subclavian vein cannulation is required, use the supraclavicular approach rather than the infraclavicular approach when possible to help decrease the likelihood of pneumothorax formation. The incidence of iatrogenic tension pneumothorax may be decreased with prophylactic insertion of a chest tube in patients with a simple pneumothorax that requires positive pressure ventilation. Pleurodesis decreases the risk of recurrence of spontaneous pneumothorax, as does thoracotomy or video-assisted thoracoscopy (vat) to excise the bullae.