"Loud Music Can Cause Lung Collapse" (No Who)

Imonecmw at aol.com Imonecmw at aol.com
Wed Sep 22 14:41:34 CDT 2004

Loud Music Can Cause Lung Collapse
By Amy Norton
SOURCE: Thorax, August 2004. 
Blasting music can be hard on the ears and the neighbors, and now  
researchers say it can also pack enough punch to collapse a lung. 
Reporting in the medical journal Thorax, they describe the cases of four  
young men who suffered a lung collapse -- technically called pneumothorax --that  
appeared to be triggered by loud music. Three of the men were at a concert or 
 club when the pneumothorax occurred, while the fourth was in his car, which 
was  outfitted with a 1,000-watt bass box because he "liked to listen to loud 
A pneumothorax occurs when a small rupture in one of the lungs allows air to  
leak into the space between the lungs and the chest wall, causing the lung to 
 collapse. Symptoms include breathlessness and chest pain on the affected 
A small, partial collapse may resolve on its own, but more severe cases may  
require the insertion of a chest tube to allow the air to escape the chest  
Often, an underlying lung disease or chest injury is the culprit in  
pneumothorax. But so-called primary spontaneous pneumothorax happens in the  absence 
of an underlying disease, typically striking tall, thin, male smokers.  
The cases described in the Thorax report suggest that loud music may be one  
cause of this type of pneumothorax. Though the report cites only a small 
number  of patients, lead author Dr. Marc Noppen told Reuters Health he suspects 
more  cases of music-induced pneumothorax will now be caught.  
Since the report's publication, he said, doctors in a few countries have told 
 him they've seen similar cases. If more doctors routinely ask pneumothorax  
patients about their exposure to loud music, the number of injuries attributed 
 to blasting tunes will likely go up, noted Noppen, who is with the Academic  
Hospital in Brussels, Belgium.  
In two of the cases his team describes, the men were standing close to large  
loudspeakers when they suddenly felt chest pain.  
A third case involved a 23-year-old smoker who had suffered several episodes  
of pneumothorax. During a follow-up medical visit, the doctors mentioned 
having  seen two music-related pneumothorax cases, and the patient suddenly 
remembered  that two of his attacks happened at heavy metal concerts.  
Noppen said he and his colleagues suspect that loud music may damage the  
lungs due to its booming bass frequency, which can be felt as a vibration going  
through the body. The lungs may essentially start to vibrate in the same  
frequency as the bass, which could cause a lung to rupture.  
It's probably a good idea, according to Noppen, to stand back from the  
speakers at concerts and clubs and to ease up on that car-stereo bass. It might  
also save your hearing, he added. 

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