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Tightness in Chest and Throat

Tightness in Chest and Throat

Experiencing tightness in chest and throat can be indicative of some underlying health problem. Although most people may take it for an indication of a heart disease, it is not always so. This article tells you about the possible causes of this problem, and a brief info on its treatment.
Marlene Alphonse
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2018
Experiencing a tight sensation in chest and throat can be quite uncomfortable as sudden bouts of this problem can interfere with routine activities. Although this condition is not always related to cardiac problems, a medical diagnosis helps rule out potential problems, and provides peace of mind.
Tight Feeling in the Chest and Throat - What Does it Mean?
A common cause of constriction in the chest and throat is the presence of
lung diseases or infections. These infections may narrow the airways, which make it difficult to breathe effortlessly.
# Throat and chest tightness may also be due acid reflux disease, also known as
gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Otherwise known as heartburn, it may also give rise to chronic cough and hoarseness in the throat. The stomach acid that regurgitates back to the esophagus can affect the inner lining and the nerves. This constricts the airways and is responsible for experiencing breathlessness.
# A feeling of tightness or soreness in the throat, accompanied by chest congestion, can be a result of bacterial infection. Bacteria can enter the lungs through contaminated or polluted air, triggering a series of infections. It can also lead to the inflammation of the mucous membrane and tightening of the chest muscles. Once this infection dies down, the feeling may subside.
Asthma, which causes the airways to swell and become narrow, due to over secretion of mucous, is also one of the causal agents of tightness in throat and chest. Inability to breathe is one of the classic signs of asthma. This can increase the pressure in the lungs, which may worsen with the passage of time. In the absence of prompt treatment, this condition can turn life-threatening.
Disorders in the respiratory system, caused due to factors like allergens, harmful pathogens, chemicals and contaminated air, can produce symptoms like throat irritation and chest congestion. Individuals suffering from respiratory infections like bronchitis may be victims of this condition, which may sometimes be followed by chest pain.
# Noticing a constricting sensation in the chest and throat is common in smokers, who may also suffer from bouts of shortness of breath and wheezing. Chronic pulmonary obstructive disorder should not be ignored as it can cause permanent damage to the lungs.
Relieving Chest and Throat Constriction
Before administering treatment, the doctor may perform a battery of diagnostic tests like a physical exam, chest X-ray, and sometimes even a blood test, to assess the exact cause of this condition. In case of sore or strep throat, which may arise due to bacterial or viral infections, antibiotics may be prescribed. If this condition is caused due to excess production of mucous, then humidifiers can be used to loosen up the mucous. There are also many over-the-counter decongestants available that can provide relief from this annoying disorder.
Unhealthy lifestyle like smoking should be completely avoided to prevent any possible complications like tightness in chest and shortness of breath, which can even be life-threatening and in some cases may prove to be fatal.
It is necessary to get down to the root cause of tightness in chest and throat, and treat them accordingly to avoid any unnecessary complications. Taking proper precautionary measures will also reduce the risk of developing this health disorder. Stay healthy!
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.