Difference Between Pneumothorax and Tension Pneumothorax (With Table)

A human body consists of several organs. There are internal organs, external organs, sensory organs and all these organs are located at different places in a human body and they have their independent function, use and role to play in the working of the human body. These organs are kept healthy by us humans ourselves as we have a balanced diet and live a healthy lifestyle that keeps them away from any sort of disorders or diseases.

But in some cases, these organs don’t work that harmoniously and a person catches a disorder or disease related to a certain organ or related to some other things present in their body. Alike that there are several disorders and diseases when a person’s lungs are not in a good condition or if they are not exactly healthy. There are several disorders associated with the lungs and two of these disorders include 1. Pneumothorax and 2. Tension Pneumothorax.

Pneumothorax vs Tension Pneumothorax

The difference between pneumothorax and tension pneumothorax is the things that take place when any of these disorders take place in a human body. Pneumothorax is a case that occurs when the gap between the chest wall and lungs is filled with air and when the air is accumulated between the parietal and viscera pleurae. On the other hand, Tension Pneumothorax is a case when collection of air between the parietal and viscera pleurae takes place and along with that the shifting of mediastinal occurs.

The condition of the lungs that occurs when air is accumulated between the chest wall and the lungs is known as Pneumothorax. Some major and common symptoms that are seen when this disorder prevails in a person includes acute chest pain, breathing issues or shortness of breath, feeling physically exhausted etc.

The condition affiliated with the lungs in which the collection of air between the parietal and viscera pleurae takes place and along with that the shifting of mediastinal occurs is known as Tension Pneumothorax. The air that is accumulated between the chest wall and the lungs cannot escape the pleural space during this disorder, which makes it even a fatal variant of pneumothorax.

Comparison Table Between Pneumothorax and Tension Pneumothorax

Parameters Of ComparisonPneumothoraxTension Pneumothorax
MeaningThe condition of the lungs that occurs when air is accumulated between the chest wall and the lungs is known as Pneumothorax.The condition affiliated with the lungs in which the collection of air between the parietal and viscera pleurae takes place and along with that the shifting of mediastinal occurs is known as Tension Pneumothorax.
SymptomsAcute chest pain, breathing issues or shortness of breath, feeling physically exhausted, pressure on the chest, fast heart rate, decrease in the oxygen level etc.Rapid breathing or shortness of breath, fast heart rate followed by shock, acute chest pain, altered mental status etc.
Situation of airAir escapes from the pleural space.Air doesn’t escape from the pleural space and gets trapped.
CausesInjured chest, lung diseases and disorders, rupturing of air blisters, people who need mechanical ventilation to breathe are also prone to catch it.Open chest wound, stan wound, gunshot wound, rib fracture and other types of closed trauma, mechanical assistance to breathe etc.
TypeIndependent entity Subtype or variant of Pneumothorax

What is Pneumothorax?

The condition of the lungs that occurs when air is accumulated between the chest wall and the lungs is known as Pneumothorax. The symptoms, causes, signs, treatment options are different for different types and variants of this disorder. Depending on the intensity and seriousness of the disorder, doctors prescribe and suggest treatment plans to their patients.

Some major and common symptoms that are seen when this disorder prevails in a person includes acute chest pain, breathing issues or shortness of breath, feeling physically exhausted etc. Other than that injured chest, lung diseases and disorders, rupturing of air blisters, people who need mechanical ventilation to breathe are also prone to catch it.

Along with that statistics entail that men are more likely to catch this disorder than women. However people who have air blebs on the surface of their lungs are more likely to catch it between the ages of 20 to 40. Some risk factors that cause or trigger pneumothorax also include smoking cigarettes, genetically diagnosed pneumothorax and previously occurring pneumothorax.

Pneumothorax is a curable disorder if appropriate treatment and consultation is done. There are several ways today through which one can heal. One must always be careful and must take the necessary precautions to avoid such disorders. If these cases are not well taken care of then they may cause some fatal consequences and may also lead to death.

What is Tension Pneumothorax?

The condition affiliated with the lungs in which the collection of air between the parietal and viscera pleurae takes place and along with that the shifting of mediastinal occurs is known as Tension Pneumothorax. The symptoms, causes, signs, treatment options are different for different types and variants of this disorder. Depending on the intensity and seriousness of the disorder, doctors prescribe and suggest treatment plans to their patients.

The air that is accumulated between the chest wall and the lungs cannot escape the pleural space during this disorder, which makes it even a fatal variant of pneumothorax. Alike Pneumothorax, in Tension Pneumothorax a hole is present in the pleural space but the air can not escape the pleural space and this is the reason that makes Tension Pneumothorax different and fatal from Pneumothorax.

The symptoms that are seen during this disorder include rapid breathing or shortness of breath, fast heart rate followed by shock, acute chest pain, altered mental status etc. Along with that some risk factors and causes include open chest wound, stan wound, gunshot wound, rib fracture and other types of closed trauma, mechanical assistance to breathe etc.

As the air gets trapped in the pleural space the pressure on the lungs increases rapidly and with great intensity. This air also puts pressure on the lungs, heart and blood vessels. Because of this, the disorder is considered much more serious and life-threatening and necessary precautions must be taken to avoid it.

Main Differences Between Pneumothorax and Tension Pneumothorax

  1. Pneumothorax is an independent entity, on the other hand, tension pneumothorax is a variant or one of the types of pneumothorax with some fatal consequences.
  2. Pneumothorax is much less likely to cause life-threatening consequences than tension pneumothorax.
  3. The air that is accumulated during pneumothorax can escape and move in and out of the pleural space, on the other hand, the air accumulated during tension pneumothorax can not escape or move in and out of the pleural space and it gets stuck inside of it.
  4. During pneumothorax, there is no resultant pressure on the heart, lungs and blood vessels as the air that accumulated can move and escape from the pleural space, on the other hand, pressure is developed on the heart, lungs and blood vessels as the air that is accumulated does not escape from the pleural space.
  5. In pneumothorax, the air is accumulated between the chest wall and the lungs, on the other hand, in tension pneumothorax along with the accumulation of the air there is shifting of mediastinal as well.

Conclusion

Both disorders are curable but the agony that is caused is inexplicable. It may leave a person shook mentally and physically for quite some time and that is why one must always take the necessary precautions to avoid such disorders and diseases.

Even if one catches it, one must be aware and must take the appropriate treatment with the best medical facilities that are available. One must opt for these medical treatment options to cure the illness. If these steps are put up with then the patient may heal soon and get back with their life.

References

  1. https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/135932
  2. https://journals.lww.com/co-pulmonarymedicine/Fulltext/1999/07000/Tension_pneumothorax.16.aspx
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