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Posted by Jason on November 16, 2000 at 02:44:11:

In Reply to: Pain in left lung posted by Saffwaan on September 23, 2000 at 22:51:02:

: ok, i need help, i am a 20 yr old male, and dont smoke, and of average health.i somtimes get a pain in my left lung, it is very sharp and acute
: it hurts only when i take a breath, so if i stop brething and hold my brethe making pressure in my lungs, the pain resides afetr 15 or so miuites.
: I have had this for 3 yrs now am forced to look for help.
: If you can help me with diagnosing the cause, please e-mail me

This sounds like something I have experienced quite a few times. For me, it is related to 2 previous bouts of spontaneous pneumo-thorax; one in each lung. According to what I've read on this board and have been told by my general practitioner, it is more common than you might think in young males who are both tall and thin (like me...22, tall, thin). The reasons for it are apparently unclear and research is ongoing.

Basically what happens is a small tear opens up in one of your lungs.. When you breathe air in, it escapes from the hole in your long and begins to fill the space between the wall of your chest cavity and your lung. Obviously this puts strain on your lung. If the hole doesn't re-seal quickly and/or you take a deep breath when it happens, your lung can partially collapse. This causes extreme pain and can be corrected a couple of ways.

Both times it has happened to me, I have waited for the extreme pain to subside and gone to see a doctor the next day. Both times my doctor has given me tylenol-3 for the pain (lasts for a week or 2...mostly when you lay down on your back or the side with the injured lung), and allowed the lung to gradually reinflate over a period of a few weeks...with an x-ray checkup once a week until fully healed. He did, however, tell me to go directly to the emergency room if it happened again so that it could be corrected with a chest tube on the spot...just in case it was a more severe collapse. I've also read here on the board that in very rare cases the collapse can be so severe and in such a manner that the heart shifts. Apparently this is potentially fatal.

Anyway...This might not even be what your problem is, but it sounds pretty similiar. I get the feeling that if I hadn't been careful with my breathing recently when the pains arose, I'd be stuck with another collapsed lung. Good luck figuring out what the problem really is, and I hope this response gives you a little insight...or was at least a little bit interesting.

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