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Collapsed lung leading to scar tissue?
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Collapsed lung leading to scar tissue?

About a year ago my left lung collapsed.  The injury causing the collapse occurred early on Wednesday morning. I went to the emergency room late Friday evening where the 100% collapse was diagnosed.  It was Sunday evening before they got the lung to reinflate above about 50%. I now have breathing problems that I had never experienced before.  Any physical exertion beyond a moderate walking pace, exposure to smoke,perfumes, or strong smells of any kind, temperature extremes, hot or cold, and exposure to chlorine (in an indoor pool area) are among the things that cause shortness of breath, a rather dry, barking cough and a generally oppressive, sick feeling. I sometimes feel lightheaded and my fingers get tingly and numb for no apparent reason.  I have been tested for asthma, allergies and heart problems since the onset of the symptoms, and so far no diagnosis has been made.  Albuterol  helps, although not totally eliminates, the symptoms of the more acute attacks. I have read vague, anecdotal references to the build up of scar tissue in patients as the result of this type of injury, and am wodering if there is anything to this.  Would it cause these symptoms?  How would a diagnosis be made?  Does it eventually heal?  Any information I can get would be appreciated.
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It would be important to know if your collapsed lung ever re-expanded completely.  If the expansion was incomplete some of your lung could be chronically "trapped".  This could cause some of your symptoms.  What occurs most of the time is complete expansion.  If your lung has completely expanded it is unlikely that any of the symptoms you experience are related to the original collapse.

Collapse alone does not usually result in scarring.  However, traumatic chest injury resulting in complete collapse can cause scarring.  If the injury also caused bleeding within your chest, scarring is more likely.

Symptoms that occur with exposure to irritants in the air or extremes of temperature usually are a sign of asthma.  You could have asthma, despite the negative test results you mentioned.

However the symptoms of lightheadedness and numb/tingly fingers are common signs of hyperventilation.  That is often associated with anxiety.

You need to have another chest x-ray and good pulmonary functions tests, along with an exam by a lung specialist.  There is probably no reason why you have to live with these symptoms.
2 Comments
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I seem to have the same problem as you...i can get out of breath just by bending down to tye my shoe laces...going up and down stairs,same thing,out of breath...i had a SP in January of last year,they put the tube in,then in March of last year i had my Second SP...it took slightly more than a year for the pain to go away(possibly what they call scar tissue)...since then i have been short of breath.
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Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, lung scarring/bottom of lungs was started.
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