Causes of Pneumothorax

Pneumothorax occurs when air collects outside the lungs and within the chest cavity and causes the lungs to collapse. The causes of pneumothorax include:

  • Injury or open wound in the chest.
  • Fractured ribs.
  • Stabbing or gunshot wound to the chest.
  • Surgery to the chest.
  • Recent trauma.
  • Excess pressure on the lungs.
  • Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  • Medical procedures such as the insertion of chest tubes, lung biopsies, and endoscopic procedures.
  • The rupture of a bleb or blister or cyst on the surface of the lungs causing air to collect around the lungs.
  • Damaged lung tissue caused by other lung diseases or lung infections.
  • If pneumothorax is left untreated, recurrence rates are higher in the same or the other lung.
Risk factors of pneumothorax include:

  • Lung diseases such as asthma, COPD, tuberculosis, whooping cough, and cystic fibrosis can all increase the chance developing pneumothorax.
  • For reasons unknown tall and thin people are more vulnerable to pneumothorax.
  • Pneumothorax is more common in men than women.
  • Smoking increases your risk of developing the condition.
  • Rupturing of blebs (spontaneous thorax) is more common among people who participate in activities such as scuba diving, mountain climbing, and flying.
  • People who are on mechanical ventilators to aid breathing are at a higher risk of suffering from pneumothorax.
  • Pneumothorax is most commonly found in males between the ages of 20 to 40 years.
  • Pneumothorax may be genetic and run in families.
  • If you have suffered from pneumothorax before, you are automatically at a higher risk of developing pneumothorax in the same or the other lung in the next year or two.
  • Colder weather increases the incidence of pneumothorax.