Thursday, 27 August 2015

The Problem of Shrunk Lungs

The problem of shrunk or compressed lungs is very common in India and other third world countries. Generally it has been found that after the removal of pus from the chest through the tube or syringe during lung infection, the lung fails to get fully inflated or expanded. 
Front view showing the relations of lungs to the chest wall.
Photo Credit- Wikimedia Commons by Henry Vandyke Carter

Several young people after getting chest injuries during accidents find that their lungs fail to expand fully.

Some people have to live for years with the tube being constantly thrust into the chest. They have compromised with the situation that they would never get rid of the tube and the pus oozing out of it.

Why the Lung Shrinks
The ling fails to get fully expanded when it gets damaged due to chest infection or is unable to get back to its original state.

Another reason for choked expansion of lung is that the respiratory tubes carrying air into the lungs have been blocked. The respiratory tube gets blocked as the tumor or blood clot or phlegm might have got trapped inside it.

The third reason for the impaired lung expansion is the previous history of incomplete treatment of chest infection. As a result the pus gets secreted inside the chest. The lung gets compressed and fails to expand fully, if this pus had not been completely removed.

The Diseases Caused when Lung Fails to Expand Fully
The chief reason of compressed lung is the infection of tuberculosis, which destroys the natural structure of the lung on one hand and the pale colored pus present in the chest compresses the lungs from outside. 

Cancer and Lung Shrinking
Certain lung cancers do not permit the lung to expand fully and the functioning of the lungs gets completely affected by it.

Among these tumors the first is the tumor on the membrane covering the lungs. It is known as mesothelioma which occurs among those coming in contact of minerals. This tumor grips the lung from all sides.
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