Not being able to breathe properly can hamper everything you do. From exercising and physical activities to just everyday movements, proper breathing helps and makes these things easier. Unfortunately, there are a ton of things that can affect your breathing including lung consolidation.
But what does consolidation in the lung mean? What does it actually do to you? We’re going to cover the lung consolidation definition, lung consolidation causes, lung consolidation symptoms, and lung consolidation treatment.
What Does Lung Consolidation Mean?
The consolidation lung definition is simple. The simple version is the consolidation of material in the lungs due to solid and liquid material in the areas of the lungs that would normally be filled with air or gas. So, gunk in your lungs becomes solid, and they become labored when it comes to breathing.
Even though the definition is simple, consolidation of the lungs has several different causes.
What Causes Consolidation in the Lungs?
The most common consolidation in lungs causes are normal things that we’ve all heard of and experienced. Pneumonia is the most common cause of lung consolidation.
Other common causes of lung consolidation can include:
- A build-up of edema and pus
- A collapsed lung
- Toxic gas inhalation
- Hydatid cyst (a disease brought on by a tapeworm that originates with animals)
- Ascariasis (a disease caused by roundworms)
- Actinomycosis (a bacterial infection that causes abscesses in the mouth, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract)
- Aspergillosis (an infection caused by fungus or mold)
- Cryptococcosis (a fungal disease which can be fatal)
- The flu
With these causes, it’s good to know what the symptoms are to recognize when you may have lung consolidation.
Symptoms of Lung Consolidation
The symptoms of lung consolidation can be summed up easily in one general theme, which is sufferers of lung consolidation have problems breathing. Your breathing tends to be noisy, labored, and uncomfortable.
A general list of symptoms for lung consolidation can include:
- Breathing difficulty which may increase depending on the severity of lung consolidation
- Wheezing and hard to catch a breath
- The chest feels heavy and tends to be in pain
- Tachypnea (a condition that can cause you to breathe very rapidly, sweat a lot, and have difficulty while talking)
- Abnormal breathing sounds
- Your face may appear paler than usual or even a little blue
- Heavy coughing with a large amount of mucous (the mucous may also contain blood)
- Night sweats
- Exhaustion and fatigue
If you start recognizing these symptoms, the next step is to seek a doctor for a diagnosis and then a path of treatment.
Diagnosing and Treating Lung Consolidation
The doctor’s diagnosis will begin with a conversation about your recent medical history. This will most likely be followed by a physical exam. This exam will include the doctor listening to your lungs and may be followed up with x-rays to get the full extent of the consolidation. Once a diagnosis has been made, treatment options will be presented.
For the most part, the treatment for lung consolidation is very similar to how you treat a very severe cold. Rest is first and foremost something that will be prescribed. Along with rest, antibiotics are often prescribed to help break up the consolidation and treat the underlying cause of the lung consolidation.
If the lung consolidation is particularly bad, you may need a machine to help you breathe until you are cured. And, there is always a chance that you may have to stay in the hospital for a few days until it’s cleared up to a certain extent.
See a Doctor, Get Some Rest, Get Cured
Lung consolidation is rough. You’ve more than likely gone through a horrible virus and your breathing feels like you’ve got a sack of sand in your lungs. Make no mistake, it’s going to be less than a picnic for a while. However, with a bit of rest and following doctor’s orders, you will hopefully be back on your feet within a reasonable amount of time and ready to get along with your day.
Dr. Chris, “Consolidation of Lung – Signs, Symptoms and Causes,” Health Hype, http://www.healthhype.com/consolidation-in-lung-signs-symptoms-and-causes.html, last accessed May 26, 2017.
“Lung Consolidation,” Healthool; http://healthool.com/lung-consolidation/, last accessed May 26, 2017.
Salina, “What Causes Consolidation In Lungs? Symptoms And Treatment,” Simple Remedies, October 31, 2016; http://www.simple-remedies.com/home-remedies/respiratory-disease/consolidation-in-lungs-treatment.html, last accessed May 26, 2017.