Pneumothorax, more commonly known as a collapsed lung, occurs when air leaks through the chest wall or through the lungs, then entering the space between the pleural cavities. Pneumothorax is usually caused by an injury to the chest wall, like wounds caused by a penetrating object, blunt trauma from falls or accidents, and medical procedures that penetrate the chest wall.
A spontaneous pneumothorax occurs when a lung collapses without any direct injury to the lung. This occurs mostly to people who have lung diseases like asthma, chronic bronchitis, and COPD. Chronic smoking is also one cause for spontaneous pneumothorax.
Because of the lung collapse, breathing difficulties are experienced by the individual with the collapsed lung. Asymmetrical expansion of the lungs could also be observed while breathing because of the inability of the collapsed lung to expand. Tightness of the chest and chest pains are experienced by the individual, along with shortness of breath and easy fatigability. The lack of oxygen would cause the lips and fingers to turn blue, lowered blood pressure and the heart rate would be rapid.
The treatment would be based upon the severity and the cause of the lung collapse. Hospitalization would be required for cases that are caused by direct trauma and injuries to the chest wall. Special procedures would be done to relieve the causes of the lung collapse and oxygen would be administered. After these procedures and once your doctor has approved that you may recover at home, here are five home remedies that you can do to aid your quick recovery.
Deep breathing exercises aid in strengthening the lungs’ muscles. Deep breathing exercises can also help you to relax. You can do this by sitting in a cross-legged position on a mat or on a comfortable chair. Make sure that your back is straight and inhale deeply. Fill your lungs and let your chest expand, making sure that you do this without inducing pain. Upon exhaling, create a small, pursed hole with your lips. Exhale slowly through the small hole in your mouth. Make sure that you exhale twice as longer than inhaling. Repeat this exercise for at least ten minutes in a day, ensuring that the expansion of your lungs and abdomen increases daily.
Eucalyptus oil may be used as a decongestant and for pain relief. Mustard oil also has heat producing properties that stimulate and increase blood circulation, alleviating the pain felt on the chest while breathing. Massaging your chest and back with these oils can help for relief of the pain and difficulty in breathing.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger brings relief from the coughing and fatigue that is typically experienced. Boil a cup of water and a teaspoon of grated ginger. Strain and drink three times a day.
Give your body time to recover from a collapsed lung. A collapsed lung causes decreased oxygen in the body and this can lead to shortness of breath and fatigue. Gradually increase activity but avoid doing strenuous activities for 2-4 weeks. Return to your daily activities when you can start moving and working without feeling pain and shortness of breath.
Allow your chest space to expand and wear loose-fitting clothes. To aid yourself in breathing, use a pillow lightly pressed on your chest as you inhale and exhale to ease the pain.
Pneumothorax may be a condition that is fatal if not treated properly. Home remedies are available to relieve the pain and difficulties caused by this syndrome, but a consultation to a doctor is still advised for proper intervention.