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Cough and Chest Pain

Cough and Chest Pain

Cough, accompanied with chest pain, is usually a symptom of a lung or respiratory disorder. Here is a guide to know possible causes and basics of these health conditions.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: Apr 2, 2018
Cough is one of the first counter reactions of the body to external invasion of pathogens or parasites. It can be treated with home remedies, and does not usually remain a cause of concern, provided it is not accompanied with other symptoms. If followed by other symptoms like fever, headache, chest pain, shortness of breath, etc., then it is concluded that the underlying cause can be a serious one.
Causes and Treatment
As mentioned above, chest pain and cough, together, is caused due to disorders of lungs. Cough can be of different types like dry cough, severe cough or mucus-producing cough. Informing the doctor about the exact type of cough will help in diagnosing the cause quickly. Following is a brief information about the common causes that give rise to these symptoms.
Asthma
Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder, characterized by inflammation or swelling of the airways. The inflammation makes breathing difficult and makes the person susceptible to allergic reactions. Asthma is incurable; but, can be controlled with proper techniques.

Symptoms: When a person has an asthmatic attack, symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breathing, wheezing, dry cough, difficulty in sleeping, etc., are observed.

What to Do: Using inhaler at first signs of asthma is the basic self-care method to follow. Secondly, you should take medications and painkiller prescribed by the doctor. You should not panic, and avoid lying down. Inhalers, medications, drugs, nebulizers, etc., are effective in treating asthma. In case of severe symptoms, you should consult the doctor immediately.
Bronchitis
Bronchitis is a respiratory disease caused when the bronchi (or branches) of the trachea get inflamed due to bacterial or viral infection. Allergic reactions, smoking, exposure to industrial pollutants and smoke are the significant causes of bronchitis.

Symptoms: Apart from cough and chest pain, slight fever, shortness of breath, headache and blocked nose are the symptoms. All these symptoms are observed in case of acute as well as chronic bronchitis.

What to Do: You can use a humidifier in order to breathe in moist air. Having plenty of liquids and taking rest can help in quick recovery. Using a warm compress can help in clearing the congestion. However, remember that taking prescribed medications, as directed by the doctor, is the most effective and proper method to treat bronchitis.
Pneumonia
Pneumonia is a respiratory disorder characterized by inflammation in the lungs, caused due to virus or bacteria. It is often confused with bronchitis because of the similarity of symptoms. However, undertaking X-ray, blood and mucus tests can help in diagnosing this condition.

Symptoms: Fever, chest pain, shortness of breath, mucus producing cough.

What to Do: Pneumonia is a serious disorder and cannot be treated with just home remedies. You need to consult the doctor and follow proper treatment methods for the same. But, self-care methods like taking rest, drinking plenty of liquids, avoiding smoking, etc., can be helpful to provide temporary relief.
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease of the lungs caused by bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Any person coming in contact with this bacteria contracts the disease. But, people with a weakened immune system are at a higher risk of contracting tuberculosis. It should be noted that tuberculosis is a highly contagious disease.

Symptoms: Slight fever, fatigue, weight loss, severe cough.

What to Do: There are no home remedies that can help in relieving symptoms of this condition. People suffering from this condition should consult the doctor and take prescribed medication at proper time. They should try to stay away from people in order to prevent spreading the disease to other family members.
Lung Cancer
The abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells in the lungs cause lung cancer. Secondly, cancer originating in other parts of the body and reaching the lungs can also result in these symptoms. Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world.

Symptoms: Chest pain, chronic cough, coughing up blood, loss of appetite, lack of energy, fatigue, weight loss, fever, wheezing, etc.

What to Do: Various treatment methods can be used, depending on the type and stage of lung cancer. Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy are the standard cancer treatment methods used. The doctor may even recommend a targeted drug therapy.
GERD (Acid reflux disease)
Gastroesophageal Reflux Diseases (GERD), or acid reflux disease, is caused when the acid in the stomach seeps back into the esophagus, due to malfunctioning of the lower sphincter muscles. Smoking, irregular eating habits, eating very spicy food, especially at night, are the common causes of GERD.

Symptoms: Discomfort in throat, bad taste in mouth, chest pain, cough, heartburn, nausea, etc.

What to Do: Antacids provide temporary relief from acid reflux. However, they are not recommended for long-term or frequent use. You should avoid spicy meals, caffeine, alcohol, etc., to gain quick relief. Natural foods like buttermilk, coconut water can also help in alleviating the symptoms. If you suffer from severe vomiting and nausea, consult the doctor immediately.
Infectious Mononucleosis, Mitral valve stenosis, Aortic dissection, etc., are some other possible causes for cough with chest pain, fatigue, etc. Diseases caused by bacteria like bacterial bronchitis, bacterial pneumonia and tuberculosis can be treated through antibiotics. Viral infections usually subside after some time. Except for acid reflux disease, other health conditions mentioned above can be severe. Therefore, it is recommended to consult the doctor and get the cause diagnosed as soon as possible.
Infectious diseases can be prevented to a great extent by maintaining hygiene, avoiding smoking and exposure to air pollutants. On the other hand, you should also have a balanced diet and regular exercise to enhance immunity; as, a stronger immunity makes a person less susceptible to infectious diseases.
Disclaimer
This information is for educational purposes only. It should not be substituted for proper medical consultation and advice.