A pneumothorax is a collapsed lung. A pneumothorax occurs when air leaks into the space between lung and chest wall. This air pushes on the outside of the lung and makes it collapse. Pneumothorax can be a complete lung collapse or a collapse of only a portion of the lung.
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.
SYMPTOMS OF PNEUMOTHORAX
The main symptoms of a pneumothorax are sudden chest pain and shortness of breath.
CAUSES OF PNEUMOTHORAX
A pneumothorax can be caused by:
- Chest injury-Any blunt or penetrating injury to chest can cause lung collapse. Some injuries may happen during physical assaults or car crashes, while others may inadvertently occur during medical procedures that involve the insertion of a needle into the chest.
- Lung disease - 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 (blebs) can develop on the top of the lungs. These blebs sometimes burst allowing air to leak into the space that surrounds the lungs.
- Mechanical ventilation-A severe type of pneumothorax can occur in people who need mechanical assistance to breathe. The ventilator can create an imbalance of air pressure within the chest. The lung may collapse completely
In general, men are far more likely to have a pneumothorax than are women. The type of pneumothorax caused by ruptured air blisters is most likely to occur in people between 20 and 40 years old, especially if the person is very tall and underweight.
Risk factors for a pneumothorax include:
- Smoking- The risk increases with the length of time and the number of cigarettes smoked, even without emphysema.
- Genetics- Certain types of pneumothorax appear to run in families.
- Lung disease- Having an underlying 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 pneumothorax.
- Previous pneumothorax-Anyone who has had one pneumothorax is at increased risk of another.
COMPLICATIONS OF PNEUMOTHORAX
Many people who have had one pneumothorax can have another, typically within one to two years of the first.
Sometimes air may continue to leak if the opening in the lung will not close.
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT FOR PNEUMOTHORAX
ACONITE : Very useful for pneumothorax with constant pressure in left chest.There is oppressed breathing on least motion.Useful for hoarse, dry, croupy cough with loud, labored breathing.Given when child grasps at throat every time he coughs.Useful for dry, short, hacking cough which worse at night and after midnight.
AMMON CARB : Useful for pneumotghorax when there is cough every morning about three o'clock, with dyspnœa, palpitation and burning in chest.Helpful when chest feels tired with much oppression in breathing which is worse after any effort, and entering warm room, or ascending even a few steps.
AMMON MUR : Useful for pneumothorax with hoarseness and burning in larynx. There is dry, hacking, scraping cough which is worse lying on back or right side. Given when cough loose in afternoon, with profuse expectoration and rattling of mucus.
ANTIM TART : Useful for pneumothorax with great rattling of mucus, but very little is expectorated. There is Velvety feeling in chest.Useful for burning sensation in chest, which ascends to throat. There is Rapid, short, difficult breathing; seems as if he would suffocate;
ARSENIC ALBUM : Useful for pneumothorax when patient is unable to lie down.There is fear of suffocation with constricted air paasage Air passage.There is burning in chest with Suffocative catarrh.Useful for scanty, frothy expectoration with Darting pain through upper third of right lung.
FERRUM PHOS : Useful in peumohorax in First stage of all inflammatory affections. Useful for hard, dry cough, with sore chest.