Know the basics
What is pneumothorax?
Pneumothorax occurs when there is air flow between the lung and chest wall. There are 2 types of pneumothorax: idiopathic Pneumothorax (suddenly occur in healthy individuals, no history of the disease) and secondary pneumothorax (appears from lung complications). If it is not treated promptly, the disease causes death.
How common is pneumothorax?
This health condition is common in people aged 20 – 30, especially in those who are tall and thin. It can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
Know the symptoms
What are the symptoms of pneumothorax?
The most common symptoms are shortness of breath and pain in my chest, especially when breathing in and breathing out. There are also other symptoms such as:
- Shortness of breath;
- Ease of fatigue;
- Fast heart beat.
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
Know the causes
What causes pneumothorax?
Currently, scientists have known causes of pneumothorax. They said that air bubbles burst out and air stagnant in lungs. Pneumothorax sometimes have hereditary.
Meanwhile, secondary pneumothorax occurs when you have been suffering from the lung disease (asthma, tuberculosis, whooping cough, chronic obstructive pulmonary COPD ..). In addition, lung or chest injury can also be the cause of pneumothorax.
Know the risk factors
What increases my risk for pneumothorax?
There are many risk factors for Pneumothorax such as:
- Gender: Men are affected more often than women.
- Smoking: increases risk if you smoke.
- Genetics: some kind of pneumothorax can be inherited.
- Lung disease, if you have a number of previous lung diseases, you will increase the ability of the disease
- Mechanical ventilation: if you get help from breathing machine, you have the possibility of pneumothorax.
- Having experienced previously pneumothorax.
There are no risk factors does meaning you cannot get sick. These signs are for reference only. You should consult a specialist doctor for more details.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is pneumothorax diagnosed?
Your doctor will review your medical history and a physical exam. Your doctor will hear breathing sounds by a stethoscope. Chest X-rays can diagnose pneumothorax. In addition, physicians will check your blood oxygen levels and heart by ECG to determine if you have been pneumothorax.
How is pneumothorax treated?
Treatment depends on the degree of pneumothorax and causes. Mild pneumothorax can be treated by allowing the body to absorb atmosphere. For more severe pneumothorax, a syringe or a drain may be placed in your chest to get the air out. If the hole is large, you may have to keep the tube few days to keep the lung inflated until the hole heals. In case that these above methods are still not effective, you will need surgery to prevent air in your lungs.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage pneumothorax?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with Pneumothorax:
- Re-examination for monitoring progression of symptoms as well as your health.
- Take your medicines as prescription, do not use or quit medication without doctor’s permission.
- Talk with your doctor about the medications you take, both prescription and over-the-counter.
- Talk with your doctor if you are pregnant.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Ferri, Fred. Ferri’s Netter Patient Advisor. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders / Elsevier, 2012. Download version.
Porter, R. S., Kaplan, J. L., Homeier, B. P., & Albert, R. K. (2009). The Merck manual home health handbook. Whitehouse Station, NJ, Merck Research Laboratories. Page 520
Pneumothorax. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pneumothorax/basics/definition/con-20030025. Accessed July 13, 2016.
Pneumothorax. https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000087.htm. Accessed July 13, 2016.
Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017