Have you been experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath lately, and are wondering what the possible cause could be! Well, both chest pain and difficulty in breathing, can be associated with the symptoms of some minor, as well as serious ailments. This article will take you through some of the most common reasons as to why you could be experiencing this.
Though both these symptoms, chest pain and shortness of breath, are very different and can be associated with completely different problems, the combination of both these symptoms can indicate some serious health concerns. Most of us associate chest pain with heart related issues, however, there are many other reasons as to why one can experience chest pain along with breathing difficulty. These may include stress, pulmonary issues, pneumonia, asthma and so on.
The point to be kept in mind is that our chest consists of various organs and tissues including the heart, esophagus, lungs, nerves and tendons; and the pain can be a result of any injury or concern with any of the tissues present within. This is the reason why it becomes very difficult for doctors to diagnose the actual cause of chest pain and shortness of breath, especially if the patient has no history of health concerns in the past. But, the good news is that though these symptoms can be the sign of a serious condition, they can also be due to minor issues like temporary stress or anxiety. It is best to get yourself examined as early as possible to avoid further complications, as early diagnosis means more scope for complete cure.
Common Causes of Chest Pain and Shortness of Breath
Well, as mentioned earlier, the reason behind you experiencing these symptoms could vary depending upon many factors like your age, gender, health, family history, body weight, and so on. While some causes may be temporary, some can prove to be life-threatening if delayed or avoided. Have a look at some of the main causes of why one can experience these symptoms.
The first concern that would arise in your doctor’s mind would be to examine you and check if everything is alright with your heart and its functioning, especially if you have chest pain on the left side. The reason could be a heart attack which occurs due to permanent blockage or damage to your artery. In this case, the pain can last for as long as 15 minutes and you may also experience extreme discomfort along with shortness of breath. Angina could also be another cause wherein the arteries and heart muscles narrow down due to cholesterol and fat deposits, thereby reducing the blood supply to the heart. Another heart issue that can be one of the causes is ‘pericarditis’, which is a viral inflammation in the lining of the heart. Aortic dissection can also be a cause. All the above mentioned conditions related to the heart need serious medical attention. Therefore, you must visit a trusted specialist as soon as possible without any further delay!
Yet another cause related to chest pain and shortness in breathing is pulmonary embolism wherein an artery present in the lung is blocked due to blood clots, fat deposits, tumor cells, or air; however, the main cause of this condition is a blood clot, usually in the vein present in the pelvis area or the legs.
Whenever we experience shortness of breath or any breathing difficulty, what is the first thing that comes in our mind…, asthma? Yes, another reason for shortness of breath along with pain in the chest can be a breathing disorder like asthma. Other symptoms may include coughing, wheezing and sweating. Even pneumonia, bronchitis, tuberculosis and other lung related problems may be the possible cause behind the condition.
Anxiety and Panic Attack
Experiencing chest pain and shortness of breath is also a common observation in case of an anxiety attack, or a panic attack. If you have been going through a lot of stress, anxiety, or have experienced a panic attack lately, then this could justify as to why you have been experiencing the symptoms we are currently discussing. In fact, while most of us think of a heart problem while experiencing this symptom (breathing difficulty and chest pain), the findings of the condition mostly point towards the stress that one is going through in their day-to-day life. So, make sure that you get yourself checked by a doctor and relax as much as you can.
Cold and Infection
One of the ‘not so severe’ cause of chest pain and shortness of breath could be cold. Usually young adults and children experience these symptoms when they are suffering from cold. Even viral infections can cause inflammation in the nostrils leading to shortness of breath and congestion causing chest pain. A bacterial infection could also be the cause. No matter what, getting in touch with a healthcare specialist is strictly advisable.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
GERD is a chronic digestive disease that can also be responsible for these two symptoms. You may also experience some additional symptoms like heartburn, dry cough, sore throat, difficulty in swallowing and lump in the throat. It is a condition wherein the acids present in the stomach flow back into the esophagus. This reflux of acid in the esophagus can cause irritation in the esophagus, and can cause pain in the chest as well. Do you think that this could be the reason behind your problem?
The point to be noted is that there can be other reasons as well that can be the culprit behind the symptoms you are experiencing. Which is why it is advisable for you to note down all the symptoms and patterns of the health issues that you are experiencing, and speak to a trusted doctor about the same. A thorough examination and analysis of the symptoms can help determine your individual cause. So, don’t delay and get in touch with your doctor as soon as possible. Take care.