How common is pneumothorax?
Pneumothorax occurs in 1-40 per 100,000 people. It is more common in men than in women.
Author: Idan Ben-Barak
First answered: 15 Jul 2015
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.5/5 Votes: 1426
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A pneumothorax is a collapsed lung, a condition that occurs when air leaks into the cavity - called the pleural space - between the lungs and chest wall.
A pneumothorax does not always cause any symptoms, but if they do occur, they may include shortness of breath, chest pain and a rapid heart rate.
There are different types of pneumothoraces, each of which has a specific cause. Some have no known cause and occur in those without any apparent underlying condition. Others may be due to a penetrating or blunt chest trauma or medical procedure. Yet another group …
The different types of pneumothorax have specific causes and are more common in certain patient groups. Tall, thin adult males between the ages of 18-40 are more likely to develop a primary spontaneous pneumothorax, whereas secondary spontaneous pneumothorax is more …
Diagnosis of pneumothorax is usually based on physical examination and a chest X-ray, except for tension pneumothorax, which is a medical emergency and is diagnosed without any imaging or other tests.
The treatment for pneumothorax can vary depending on its type and severity. Non-surgical treatment may include observation, needle aspiration and chest tube insertion. Surgical treatment may involve video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery.
Due to the strong link between cigarette smoke and developing a pneumothorax, quitting smoking can reduce the risk of pneumothorax.
There is a considerable risk of a pneumothorax recurring within five years of the first episode. The risk for recurrence varies depending on the type, the treatment used and what underlying lung conditions are present.