Primary spontaneous pneumothorax occurs when there is no other underlying lung disease. It is often caused by the rupture of an air-filled sac in the lung, called a bleb or bulla.
Smoking is associated with a higher incidence of spontaneous pneumothorax.
Secondary spontaneous pneumothorax occurs as a complication of another lung disease. Lung diseases which are associated with the development of pneumothorax include:
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Cystic Fibrosis
- TB (tuberculosis)
- Pertussis (whooping cough)
Traumatic pneumothorax occurs as a result of a traumatic injury to the chest. The injury could be penetrating, such as a bullet or stab wound, or blunt, such as a blow to the chest or automobile accident. A traumatic pneumothorax can complicate other medical procedures that may be necessary following a traumatic injury.
Rib Fractures With Pneumothorax
Tension pneumothorax occurs when excessive pressure builds up around the lung and forces it to collapse. This pressure can also affect the heart’s ability to pump blood. For this reason, tension pneumothorax is considered the most serious type.
The following factors increase your chance of developing pneumothorax:
- Spontaneous pneumothorax occurs most often in tall, thin men who are between the ages of 20-40
- Having a family history of pneumothorax
- Having other lung diseases such as COPD, asthma, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, or pertussis
- Suffering a trauma injury to the chest
- Infants who require ventilator assistance are at a higher risk of developing tension pneumothorax
- More men than women experience pneumothorax
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