Chest pain is one of those symptoms that causes instant panic, but the truth is that a heart attack is not the only reason you might experience chest pain. Chest pain is a symptom of many conditions, both serious and minor, acute or chronic. If you think your chest pain may be the root of something serious, it’s always good to get a medical opinion and to get some accommodations made to your life, such as a disabled parking permit, if needed.
Pneumonia is a condition in which the lungs and the tiny air sacs within them become inflamed. It can vary in severity, with minor cases requiring antibiotics and bed rest and severe cases causing death. Chest pain will be associated with breathing and other symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, and fever. Medical attention is vital, as only a medical professional will be able to determine the severity of your case, but if you are otherwise healthy and follow your doctor’s advice, you should make a full recovery.
2. Coronary Artery Disease
Coronary artery disease (CAD) or ischemic heart disease (IHD) is a name given to a group of conditions that are the most common forms of coronary illness in the United States. Conditions include angina and sudden coronary death, which includes sudden adult death syndrome (SADS). CAD is linked to heart conditions associated with poor lifestyle choices such as poor diet, lack of exercise, and smoking. Angina can be a condition that hampers physical activity due to pain, so sufferers may need to make adjustments, such as seeking to qualify for a disabled parking permit.
3. Heart Attack
A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is compromised or stops. While media representations often show heart attacks as sudden burst of chest pain, sufferers can also experience arm pain, nausea, sweating, and shortness of breath. If a heart attack is suspected, it is very important to seek medical attention as a priority. An aspirin can be administered, as it is a blood thinner that is available in most households. Try to regulate your breathing and try not to panic while you wait for medical attention. Depending on the severity of the heart attack, patients may be sent home on the day of admission, could require surgery, or could lose their life as a result of the attack.
4. Panic attack
Panic attacks are sudden bursts of fear that can debilitate the sufferer. While it is a psychological condition, it has many physical symptoms, one of which is chest pain. Alongside chest pain, sufferers may feel nausea, sweating, and an unshakeable sense of dread. Panic attacks can be a symptom of a larger condition such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder. If you are having a panic attack, you should sit down, breathe into a paper bag if one is available, and, if possible, go somewhere that you feel safe.
Asthma is a chronic condition in which patients experience lung inflammation. It can be caused by genetic reasons or due to environmental or lifestyle factors, including allergens. There is no cure for asthma, but sufferers may grow out of their symptoms as they age or change their lifestyle choices. While many people with asthma lead relatively normal lives, asthma attacks can be deadly and it is important that patients carry inhalers with them wherever they go. Alongside chest pain, symptoms can include coughing, wheezing, and sputum production.
6. Pulmonary Embolism
A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the lungs. It is incredibly serious and needs immediate medical attention to avoid death. Pulmonary embolisms are usually caused by blood clots in the leg that travel to the lung and become lodged there. Alongside chest pain, you may also experience rapid and short breath as well as coughing with blood. If you suspect that you may have a pulmonary embolism, you should call an ambulance immediately. You will be placed on blood thinning medication and you may require surgery.
A pneumothorax is also referred to as a collapsed lung. It occurs when too much air gathers between the lung and the chest wall. It can be caused by another condition, such as cystic fibrosis or emphysema, or can be the result of trauma or lifestyle choices such as smoking. As well as chest pain, you may experience you lips turning blue and your physician will hear diminished breath sounds when listening to your chest with a stethoscope. Pneumothorax does not always require treatment, but in serious cases you may have to have a chest tube installed to relieve pressure caused by the trapped air.
Chest pain is always worth investigating and your primary physician will likely send you to specialists to ascertain the exact cause. This will allow you to follow a treatment plan and to make the necessary changes that will allow you to live the best life you possibly can.