Collapsed Lung (Atelectasis)


This happens when air sacs in your lung deflate, either partially or completely. They can't fill with air. They may fill with fluid. This can happen to air sacs in just one section of your lung (which we call a "lobe"). Or, the entire lung can collapse.


Collapsed lung has a wide range of causes. It can happen if you inhale something that blocks your airway. It can happen if you aren't able to breathe deeply. Shallow breathing allows mucus to build up in your lungs and block your airways. A lung collapse can be linked to infection or lung disease. And, it can happen if a tumor grows so large that it blocks an airway.


A lung collapse makes it hard for you to breathe. You may take shallow, rapid breaths. You may wheeze and cough.


Treatment depends on your needs. Your doctor may recommend things like coughing or deep breathing. You may need surgery to fix a problem that's affecting your lung. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.