Aa
A
A
A
Close
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder Community
1.46k Members
Avatar universal

What was the cause of your pneumothorax?

The primary cause of a pneumothorax is trauma to the chest cavity. A fractured rib, for example, could puncture the lung. Moreover, penetrating trauma from a bullet, knife, or other sharp object can directly puncture the lung.Who is at risk for pneumothorax?Sometimes, very tall, thin people are prone to a spontaneous pneumothorax. In this condition, the lung collapses after minimal or no trauma.Other risk factors are cigarette smoking and recreational drug use or abuse.Spontaneous pneumothoraxThis refers to a condition in which the lung collapses with no apparent injury or trauma.Abnormal, small, air-filled sacs in the lung called "blebs" typically rupture and leak air into the pleural space, leading to the spontaneous pneumothorax. This happens in the cases of tall and thin people, who because of the shape of their lungs and chest cavity, are seemingly more prone to these defects.Shortness of breath and sharp, stabbing chest pain develops in apparently healthy people.Cigarette smokers are at greater risk for spontaneous pneumothorax.Recreational drug users who inhale deeply and forcefully are also at greater risk.Traumatic pneumothoraxDirect trauma to the chest wall from either blunt or penetrating trauma causes this condition.Trauma also can come from diagnostic or therapeutic medical procedures that can result in a punctured lung such as needle aspiration of fluid from the pleural space, a lung biopsy, or insertion of a large IV catheter into a vein near the neck.Disease-related pneumothoraxDisease-related pneumothorax can occur due to abnormalities in the lung tissue.A collapsed lung can arise as a complication of the following conditions:AsthmaCystic fibrosisChronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), for example, emphysema or chronic bronchitisPneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP), an opportunistic infection of the lungs often seen in people with AIDS
63 Responses
Avatar universal
I recently developed endocarditis, an infection on my Mitral valve, and had to have open heart surgery to replace the valve. About a week after getting home I noticed when I bent down I would need to cough, and since I had to sleep on my back, my breathing was strange, I didn't seem to have a problem with breathing though and no real pain, I just thought something was weird, different, in fact I walked about a mile or so to my cardiologist for my follow up appointment. I explained to him my symptoms and he ordered an X-ray. By the time I had walked home they had called the house saying I needed to go to ER, due to a 50% collapsed lung. So back to the hospital I went. It sucked. The worst part was when they pulled the chest tube out after three days. I have no idea how I got the collapsed lung.
Avatar universal
Dumbbells fell on my chest while exercising.  I felt like I was having a heart attack.  I was short of breath and pain wouldn't allow me to sit.  911 was called.  The diagnosis was collapsed lung.  The doctor wanted to place a stint in my lung.  I was too afraid to allow this procedure to happen.  I am 33 years old without insurance.  Help!
Avatar universal
My wife has had 3 lung collapses, due to fibrosis. She had 2 tubes at the same time inserted, one in her top chest, the second one in the top back. Doctors said this procedure has not been working at all, so she needs to have lung transplant, but if the Medi-Cal insurance from CA State, doesn't pay for it, she can't have a lung transplant. We are low income family. I just have few hours on my workplace -- about 28 per week I can't afford to pay any insurance.
Avatar universal
I'm a 36 yr old male, quite tall and thin, I'm very fit and run an average of 3-4 miles a day. Unfortunately, I have smoked since I was 14 years old. I served in the Army for 10 yrs and am now a police officer, so I still live an active physical lifestyle. About 5 days ago I was showering and as I raised my left arm to rinse my hair. I felt a sharp pain race down the muscle in my back and felt a pop. I thought I have just tweaked a muscle and carried on the day in a bit of pain thinking it'll sort itself out.  Five hrs later it got to the stage where I couldn't walk 20 yards without stopping for air and decided to get it checked out at A&E. After an X-ray it was confirmed that I had suffered a spontaneous pneumothorax and had a chest drain put in. After 3 days, I'm back at home, and still sore but I'm. I'm amazed that this happened for no apparent reason, and needless to say I must stop smoking.
Avatar universal
I have had 5 pneumothoraxes in just over 2 years in my left lung. I was 28 when it first started. I am a young female, healthy, physically active non-smoker, not the typical person this happens to at all. Every time it happened I was laying down sleeping. The first time it was the worst, 50% collapsed with a lot of chest pain and shortness of breath. I had a chest tube for 2 days and it was the most painful experience of my life. The next 2 times it happened I was pregnant and they were smaller collapses, 20% and 10% which required no treatment but I did go to the ER every time. Nine days after my son was born, it collapsed again, small.
Avatar universal
While sitting at my computer at work on day in January, I sneezed (no, I wasn't holding my nose).  A few minutes later I noticed I was short of breath and my chest was hurting.  It got bad enough that I went to the emergency room about half an hour later and was informed that the symptoms were caused by my left lung which was about 50-60% collapsed.  I was told that while they had heard of people collapsing a lung by sneezing, they had never seen an actual case at that Dallas area hospital. They inserted a tube into my chest in the hope it would allow the lung to re-inflate, but after 4 days, gave up and decided to operate.  I spent a total of 10 days in the hospital and 4 weeks recovering at home afterward.
Avatar universal
I had a respiratory infection that lingered for 8 weeks despite 3 series of antibiotics, inhalers, and medicines. I experienced extremely violent coughing bouts and about 8 days of minimal sleep. Suddenly I could only draw about a quarter breath and called 911. I spent the next four days in the hospital and have been out from work for four weeks.
Avatar universal
I am a 28 year old male and had my first collapsed lung in 2001. I had another 5 on my left side before I had pleural abrasion done. Then in 2006 I had my first one on the right side, this one hurt the most and felt like someone was sitting on my chest. The pain was so bad that I was vomiting and passing out, I got admitted to hospital and put on 100% oxygen but this did nothing. I was then back in surgery having another plural abrasion. They said the cause was unknown. I still get some pain and discomfort in my chest but nothing as bad as the final collapse. Also as stated in a previous comment, the worst part of both operations was having the chest drain tubes pulled out! It felt like someone had stabbed a red hot knife into your chest.
Avatar universal
I had a collapsed lung two years ago.The doctors had to go in and repair a small hole in my lung.Today I still have shortness of breath and a lot of pain.
Avatar universal
I think i have a small spontaneous collapse. Chest pain when i inhale deeply.. well maybe not chest persay.. its the right side, lower ribs.. so I'm assuming the lower portion of my lung has collapsed. Shortness of breath. Stabbing pain. Fatigued easily. I'm a smoker and habitually use marijuana. I'm tall, 5'10", thin, 128lbs. The thought of having a tube in my chest scares me. I've had the pain for 3 days now and it hasn't gotten significantly worse but it is definitely uncomfortable and does hinder daily activities like carrying my son. I know i should go to the hospital to check it out but I'm hoping it goes away on its own. Since I've read this article I've been paying very close attention to the pain, any dizziness, any bluishness and if i see any change I'm going to the ER. I'm 25 and totally freaked out by this.
Avatar universal
On May 2011, I went to Alaska, from Florida for a 7 day cruise. The first 2 days we spent in Anchorage and we were just walking around touring the city and I had some lunch and about 40 minutes later I was experiencing some awful pain in the middle of my chest. It started to radiate to my left shoulder and then in my back, under my shoulder bone. They said it was a spontaneous pneumothorax. I have never smoked, had any injuries or recently fallen. The doctor does not attribute the 7 hour flight either. I am just paranoid about it recurring. I keep reading about that chance. Hope all of you are doing better.
Avatar universal
A friend of mine had a collapsed lung and her doctor told her that having her period can cause this.  I've never heard of such a thing.
Avatar universal
I had a spontaneous pneumothorax after eating. I had been working out running and free weights. I was going to see my Doctor that next week on a Wed. I had been walking around for about 5 days with a collapsed lung. I saw my Doctor I told him what happen and he had me take a chest X-ray. This ishow I found out that I had a collapsed lung. It was a miracle that I was able to walk around and take care of my kids during that time.
Avatar universal
My very fit and healthy 75yr old husband did some extreme exercise for a long time with weights etc working for a long time on his chest/lung area. The next day he doubled the weight and duration.  Suddenly he had a 'fizzing' sensation in his chest, could only breath shallowly, and went pale. After a week of rest he was getting worse. We saw our doctor who rushed him to hospital. The hospital were brilliant as usual....(we live in the UK so its all free of course)  They thought initially it was lung cancer (which scared the hell out of us!)or a chest infection, as a 'spontaneous' pneumothorax is rare in this age group. Anyone else had this experience?
Avatar universal
question - punctured lung at 23 can that give you high blood pressure in years to come like when iam 40
Avatar universal
Have a friend with collapsed lung, went to hospital  all they did was give her pain pills. I want to know  if giving her oxygen will help? Or can it make the  condition worse?
Avatar universal
I had a spontaneous pneumothorax while in jail. It was my left side of my chest and it hurt so bad I was passing out and coming to when I couldn't stand the pain. The sheriff took me to the hospital. The doctor sent me back to jail saying that I was only there to get out of jail and that I was doing it for the attention. About five minutes from the jail the sheriff got a call saying that I needed to return cause my lung had popped like a balloon and collapsed. I spent five days in the hospital and told to stay below 3000 feet in altitude. The pain was like nothing I ever felt before.
Avatar universal
i was pulling a cage at work when i banged in to a large pillor . I was shocked at first and felt silly but then the next day i was in excruciating pain could not breath only tiny breaths i could not cry laugh breath without it being excruciating. Also i could not lie down as it felt like  something in my chest was falling away very painfull. It was christmas time so did not go to doctors till four days later when it started to feel better. I was told id pulled a muscle but im sure it was my lung
Avatar universal
When I was just sitting during class session my left side of my back got very sore and numb, 5 minutes later, my whole left arm completely felt sore and numb, 10 minutes from there my left side of my back and left arm completely felt like it shutdown on me and I had huge pains, it felt very numb and it took away so much energy away from me. I contacted my relative to pick me up from class, from just using my right arm I sent a text message to notify and, 20 minutes later, he already picked me up, I then quickly had very huge sharp, electrical like, pains in my front chest now, I also had very very short breaths, I was thinking in my mind that I thought I was going to die, I thought to myself in my mind to at least calm down and I know that was the best idea for now and whatever happens, happens. I told my relative to just take me to the hospital quickly. I screamed and cried when I was in the car, I thought my heart was having a problem. When I got to the hospital they told me my left lung collapsed, and I was astonished, and I cried because I thought that my left lung completely shut down and that I would never have my left lung operational any more, that was when I didn't know. They then told me I just needed pure 100 percent oxygen for my left lung to take out the existing hydrogen in between lung and chest wall, since there was no cure they said that it will be better to have pure oxygen because to have the "tube" is very painful and not worth it, they also said when I get better and if it comes back then it will be much better to get the surgery. One day went by and they told me I had recovered 99 percent already with just breathing in pure oxygen, I was not relieved because the pain was still there and I felt sad due to this happening to me, I later went home, and didn't go to school for the whole week. My doctors are still observing me and they don't know if I need surgery, they say that if I stay 99 percent I would be fine without the surgery but if it worsens then I would need surgery. I met a specialist's, he says that the spontaneous lung collapse or "Spontaneous Pneumothorax" happens more to young tall skinny people like me, and that if this happens to me one more time then he will need to give me surgery. When if they give me surgery they will put me in anesthesia and that they will shave off the bubbles that I have in my lung, the bubbles in the lung is the main problem because they are delicate and they contain air and since for me some ruptured and let air out which causes the blockade of my lung to not expand naturally with the chest wall, and that he will scrape my chest to make it sticky so that my lung can stick to the chest wall and make my lung expand like it should. Currently it's been a week, and I'm still in observation, I probably think I might need surgery even if I'm 99 percent but lets see what the doctors say if I need or don't need surgery.
Avatar universal
About 3 years ago i had my right lung collapse about 35 percent had to have a chest tube put in and six days later it was back up. This past June my left lung collapsed about the same amount had a chest tube put in for it but I've had chest pain on both sides after due to what im told is pluresy which they say is just swelling and is no big deal.  Either way neither is any fun at all
Avatar universal
Im a smoker lately I have been having lower right chest paainn
Avatar universal
I had pneumothorax 2 years ago. One day when I was walking, my left back was very painful and I was a little but dizzy. I thought it was due to my heavy bag so I used a backpack and it seemed better. I then often feel the back pain and I cough. I have consulted the doctor but he said it was just muscle pain and coughing so he gave me medicines to treat these symptoms. Of course it could not help. A month later, one day morning I ran to the exam venue. I then consulted another doctor in my campus and he told me it might be pneumothorax. I was so lucky that i was still running that morning for my exam! then i was sent to the hospital and got diagnosed as the spontaneous one. My lung collapsed for the second time when the doctor took out the tube. Therefore I stayed in the hospital for two weeks. Later when I was discharged, though feel loved, was annoyed by people misunderstands the spontaneousity and saying that I was stressed so I got it.
Avatar universal
I had a spontaneous pneumothorax in September 2011 it was Tuesday night when I felt a sharp pain in my right side I thought nothing of it and went to bed. The following morning I woke up could not breath I thought I was having a heart attack. I went to my G.P who sent me home with an inhaler and antibiotics and was told to come back the following morning, when seeing a different G.P I was sent to hospital for an x-ray I was kept in hospital for 3 weeks I never received surgery but did have a chest drain inserted twice and it is no fun {as other suffers have said I would not wish this on my worst enemy.} doctors are still reluctant to give me surgery due to my first collapse. I wake up each morning so hoping to feel 100% but it will always be at the back of my mind. i am still signed off my work as I am waiting for my follow up x-ray and have been told by my G.P  that my lung has not fully inflated yet. I was a smoker, but not tall or thin. I have not had a cigarette for nearly 2 months now and will never smoke again due to my experience. I was sent to hospital yesterday after seeing my G.P as I was experiencing the same symptoms I was lucky as I was informed that the pain i was experiencing was my lung trying to inflate and stick to the lung sack.
Avatar universal
l2/5/11    I had a pacemaker inserted on October 28.  I awoke the next morning with a strange pain in my lungs and sometimes all the way to my throat.  The cardiologist and my internist say they don't know the cause.  The former had my chest x-rayed, but this was negative.  The pain comes and goes.  It just hit me today.  I don't know whether to get other opinions.  I would appreciate any advice anyone might have.    Philbritt
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out what causes asthma, and how to take control of your symptoms.
Healing home remedies for common ailments
Tricks to help you quit for good.
Is your area one of the dirtiest-air cities in the nation?
For people with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), the COVID-19 pandemic can be particularly challenging.
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.