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Lungs Collapse in the Presence of Loud Music

Believe me, when I first read this story, it sounded much more appropriate for News of The Weird rather than the scholarly journal Thorax, but it's all true! Researchers have found loud music blasting through your home and car stereos can do much more than simply annoy others who may not share your love for Black Sabbath, Wagner and Mary J Bilge.

A recent study described 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. The fourth incident happened in a man's car, which was outfitted with a 1,000-watt bass box because he "liked to listen to loud music."

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 side. 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 cavity.

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.

So when you get the urge to crank up Stairway to Heaven on your six-speaker 500-watt music blaster, think twice...

Yahoo News September 2, 2004

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