• Posted on- Oct 15, 2015

Pneumothorax, also referred to as lung collapse, is the result of unwanted air trapped around the lungs. The lung collapses as it cannot expand in the normal fashion, due to presence of unwanted air/gas. This condition can be categorized into three types, namely, spontaneous, tension, and trauma pneumothorax.

Causes of Pneumothorax
Numerous reasons can cause collection of air/gas around the lungs. The air trapped can be air from outside the body or from the lung itself.

  1. Spontaneous: This has sudden symptoms and is not a result of sustained injury to lungs. It has two types - primary and secondary. The former is observed in people who do not have any medical history of any lung disease. Smoking is considered as its chief cause. Proximity to loud sound, scuba diving, sudden change in atmospheric pressure, etc., can be some other contributing factors. The latter is observed in people who already suffer from a lung disorder, such as COPD, asthma, etc. COPD has been observed to be the most common reason.
  2. Trauma: Any injury to the lungs or the chest wall causes this condition. It can be a result of gunshot, accident, or any direct injury to the lung. Medical surgeries, like open lung biopsy or any other lung surgery may also be a reason.
  3. Tension: This leads to complete lung collapse, i.e., both the lungs can collapse. The air trapped outside the lung is unable to escape, and hence, the amount of the air collected goes on increasing with every breath. This is a rare condition that builds extreme pressure in the chest and may cause shock, low blood pressure, and if it gets more severe and is not treated soon, it may cause death.


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