COVID-19 UPDATE: In order to best serve our clients, our office will be open for business in a limited capacity. To protect the safety of our clients and staff, we are offering our clients the ability to meet with us in person, via telephone or through video conferencing. Please call our office to discuss your options.

What are signs of a punctured lung?

Getting into an accident while driving your car on a busy California road can inflict some serious injuries. Some injuries are not apparent at first. You might feel some pain or a symptom that seems manageable and likely to go away soon. But sometimes pain is a sign of something serious such as a punctured lung.

A punctured lung happens when you have a hole in your lung. This can interfere with your lung’s ability to take in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. A punctured lung is something you should deal with as soon as possible.

Causes of a punctured lung

It is possible for people to suffer a punctured lung through an existing lung disease. Lung cancer or asthma are possible sources. Sometimes a punctured lung happens through no specific cause, which the medical community calls primary spontaneous pneumothorax.

However, a traumatic event can also puncture your lung. According to Healthline, this is traumatic pneumothorax. Just about any serious impact to your chest can puncture your lung, like when an auto collision slams you against your steering wheel or an airbag. You should recognize possible symptoms of a punctured lung so you can attend to it.

Punctured lung symptoms

Some symptoms of a punctured lung mimic other conditions, like fatigue, a tight sensation in your chest, shortness of breath, or a fast heart rate. If you have recently experienced an auto accident, these symptoms may portend something serious.

There are other symptoms that could alarm you. Your skin turns pale or blue because your body is not getting enough oxygen. Your breathing feels strange. You experience chest pain after you inhale deeply or you cough. One side of your chest feels sore, which may happen because a punctured lung usually happens on one side of your chest.

Treating a punctured lung

Treatments for a punctured lung vary according to severity. Some small punctures heal by themselves. However, it is important for a doctor to diagnose your condition. Large lung punctures generally require chest tubes to inflate the lung and possibly surgery if the lung cannot repair itself. Recovery time may last from six to eight weeks. It is possible to experience complications from a punctured lung, so your doctor should tell you about any potential risks going forward.