What is atelectasis?

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Atelectasis happens when partial or the entire lung fails to be filled with enough air. There are two types of atelectasis: obstructive and non-obstructive. The causes of those two types are different:
  • Obstructive atelectasis is usually caused by the blockage of your airways, like breathing in external objects, or by internal tumors and lumps in the airways.
  • Non-obstructive atelectasis is caused by outside pressures, including pleural effusion, pneumothorax, surgeries, injuries, scarred tissues in the lung, large tumors in the chest, lung infections, and deficiency in surfactant.
When the doctor wants to make sure whether you are having atelectasis, they will ask you to take image testing (chest X-ray, CT scan), oximetry to test oxygen level, and bronchoscopy to make the diagnosis. The atelectasis will not cause obvious symptoms if it only affects small areas of the lung. But when it affects larger parts or the lung as a whole, it will cause serious breathing problems. Mild atelectasis does not need many medical interventions. Breathing exercises are useful to solve the problem. Treatments with severe conditions may include:
  • Surgical option to remove foreign objects or tumors in the airways or to partial removal of the lung.
  • Chest physiotherapy by vibrating the mucus.
  • Bronchoscopy to remove the blockage in your airways by inserting a small tube.
After the treatments, the continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is also useful to train your breathing. Smoking is absolutely prohibited for patients with atelectasis. Consult your doctor if you feel uncomfortable in your airways. Key words: atelectasis; obstructive; non-obstructive; causes; treatments.
I never smoked but I did perform duties outdoors ie. cutting lawns, seeding lawns; gardening. Since I was utilizing chemicals & pesticides for numerous years is this one of the causes for my lungs to be in this condition?
If these chemicals are inhaled into your lungs, they may cause atelectasis.
Can breathing in dust from wood working cause Atelectasis?
Atelectasis is a condition in which one or more areas of your lungs collapse or don’t inflate properly. Lung atelectasis can be a complete or partial collapse of a lung or lobe of a lung. If only a small area or a few small areas of the lungs are affected, you may have no signs or symptoms. If a large area or several large areas of the lungs are affected, they may not be able to deliver enough oxygen to your blood. This can cause symptoms and complications.