Patient Comments: Pneumothorax - Symptoms

What were the symptoms of your pneumothorax?

Comment from: Lucky, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 15

I had my first of nine pneumothoracies when I was 24. I had a pain in my left shoulder and ignored it till the coughing started, still left it for another 6 week, finally collapsed and went to the doctor, after x-rays confirmed 35% collapse had chest tube inserted - very painful. 4 months later I had a 15% of the left again and 3 days later a 45% collapse on the right and ended up having a bilateral pleurodesis, OMG what pain!! Had 6 more collapses after that, endless ops but haven't had one for 15 years now - touch wood. If you haven't had a collapse or had the surgery you cannot understand the pain.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: cfeldman23, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 20

I was 27 years old when my lung collapsed. I was cleaning my kitchen floor, and when I stood up I could not catch my breath at all. I had sharp pains in my right side. It felt as if someone kicked me in the side, and I had the wind knocked out of me. I tried to take slow breaths and thought it might go away in a little bit. I even tried to sleep that night but around 4 a.m. I woke up in extreme pain and I couldn't even stand up straight. I went to the hospital and they took an X-ray and told me I had a collapsed lung. I was admitted to the hospital for six days with a tube stuck in my chest and hooked up to the wall. I could not get out of bed for anything. It was the most painful thing I have ever endured!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Earl, 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: April 13

I'm 18 and I experienced spontaneous pneumothorax a few months ago; at that time, I was 17. I was just walking along a building in school when I felt slight pains in my upper right chest, just above the nipple area. After a few more meters of walking, the pain worsened and it started to spread to the right side of my upper back. I also had difficulty breathing just a few minutes after I experienced the first slight pains. By the time I got to the school clinic just 5 minutes after I felt it, I turned pale and I had difficulty explaining to the nurses what I felt because it was very hard to speak. I rested in bed for about an hour, and the pain subsided. I still felt pain whenever I moved any part of my torso and when I tried to breathe deeply though. Went to the ER and saw that my lung was 60% collapsed. Got the tube inserted in the ER only with local anesthesia. The pain was excruciating. Stayed in the hospital for a week until the tube was pulled out. I used to be in the soccer team and I did a lot of swimming before the pneumothorax occurred.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: robin, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: February 01

I felt it important to mention that it usually happens during rest. I woke up one morning with pain in my upper back, on the right side Android consistent chest pain. I thought it was really bad heart burn or indigestion. I also felt a bubbling type feeling in my chest when would bend over. The pain was much worse if I leaned back or tried to lay down. I was hospitalized five days with a chest tube.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Amara, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I had my first surgery for pneumothorax on April 23rd, 2014, and I still experience pains on my chest irrespective of the surgery.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: linda, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: May 10

I am 15 years old. It happened in class, and I thought I somehow pulled a back muscle. The pain radiated from one spot, through my entire upper back, to my arms and my chest. It was so hard to breathe. I went to a family doctor first, where they said nothing was wrong. Three hours later, the pain continued and I ended up at the hospital, where they again said nothing was wrong with me. Until I received an X-ray. Surprisingly, the chest tube didn't hurt much, but every time they go off suction it collapses again, even after a staple.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: DaeWonder, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 06

I experienced my first pneumothorax about 13 years ago. For three years I experienced a pneumothorax almost monthly – always on the right side. I was diagnosed with catamenial pneumothorax, meaning my lung collapses are the result of endometrial tissue on my lung. I had pleurodesis surgery 10 years ago to "stick" my lung to my chest wall through an abrasion technique. Since the surgery, I've had smaller lung collapses in the 10-15% range. This month I had another pneumothorax of 40%, requiring a chest tube and hospital stay.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Pneumothorax - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with pneumothorax.
Pneumothorax - Treatment Question: Were you hospitalized for your pneumothorax? What types of treatment did you receive, including medication?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors