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A pneumothorax is the presence of air in the space between your lung and chest wall. This causes your lung to collapse. This may be caused by blunt or penetrating chest trauma or it may occur spontaneously for no reason at all. Occasionally, a pneumothorax may be caused by ruptured blebs, which are small outpouching of air on the surface of the lung. Symptoms of a pneumothorax include shortness of breath and sudden onset of chest pain. Risk factors are smoking, genetics, lung disease such as COPD, and previous pneumothorax. Treatments include inserting a chest tube or needle into your chest cavity to remove the air, and occasionally surgery for blebs.
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