Getting diagnosed with holes in the lungs can be a very distressing situation for a person. However, not every hole represents a serious diseased condition and most of the smaller ones disappear on their own upon removal of the cause. These holes result due to a number of factors such as smoking, infection, injury or more serious diseases like tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis or even cancer.
Some holes might also result due to radiation treatment or tissue damage as a result of continuous stress of breathing. When the tiny holes in the lungs cause air to leak from the organ, they may even lead to collapsing of the lungs, a condition requiring more intensive treatment with medication and/or surgery. The presence of holes in the lungs usually results in mild to severe symptoms of breathlessness and a sharp, stabbing pain in the chest. Identifying and understanding the symptoms and causes of holes in the lungs can help in better treatment and management of the condition to prevent further complications.
Top 6 Cause of Holes in the Lungs
Continuous exposure to smoke and dust particles tend to damage the walls of the alveoli over time, often leading to formation of holes in the lungs. The condition basically results due to emphysema and is quite common in smokers and even in non-smokers who are subjected to second hand smoke on a regular basis, leading to accumulation of nicotine and other toxic chemicals in their organs. Cannabis and other weeds have also been implicated for causing holes in the lungs and may even lead to cancer.
Aspergillus is a very common fungal species with worldwide distribution. When inhaled, the spores of this fungus enter the lungs of an individual and cause infection and illness. People with very weak immune system or the ones suffering from long term lung diseases are at an increased risk of aspergillosis as compared to healthy people and tend to develop holes in the lungs as a result of serious infections.
Presence of cancerous cells and tumors in the lungs are also responsible for causing holes in the organ.
The causative organism of tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis is notorious for causing damage and destruction of the soft tissues of the lungs, often resulting in holes in the organ. Though the disease is quite contagious and epidemic in nature, complete recovery can be achieved through antibiotic treatment and self-care.
Weak Immune System
Certain other forms of cancer such as leukaemia, granulocytopenia, myeloma, lymphoma and others may also result in suppression of the immune system, thereby increasing the chances of lung infections and holes in the lungs. Immunosuppressants and other long term medications containing steroids, cyclosporine or methotrexate also make the person more susceptible to lung infections.
Long Term Lung Diseases
Long term lung diseases such as asthma, sarcoidosis and cystic fibrosis also cause considerable damage to the lung epithelia and other lung tissues. These scars may become permanent over a period of time, causing irreversible damage to the lung tissues and even formation of holes. Presence of holes in the lungs, though quite common, cannot be considered as a normal situation for an individual. It can even result in more serious conditions such as hemothorax and pneumothorax, characterized by collapsing of the lungs. Though a few cases correct on their own and are rarely detected, others might require serious medical attention and even surgery.