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Pressure in the chest and shortness of breath: causes

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The feeling of pressure in the chest, along with shortness of breath, is very common symptomatology. Since it is nothing specific, many conditions can manifest in this way, making it very difficult to detect what it is without the corresponding medical evaluation.

It is simply one of the first symptoms of anxiety or indigestion in most cases. However, other more dangerous diseases can hide behind these symptoms and that we should not ignore.

In this FastlyHealarticle, I feel pressure in my chest, and it is difficult for me to breathe: causes; you will find the answer in the form of the conditions that cause these sensations.

The feeling of shortness of breath and pressure from heart problems

As you surely know, chest pain, tightness, and shortness of breath are among the main symptoms of heart attack, along with dizziness and arm or jaw pain. However, this does not mean that you have a heart attack every time you feel this; in fact, it may have nothing to do with the circulatory system. On the other hand, several heart problems can manifest the same symptoms in addition to a heart attack. Here we explain some of the most common:

  • Aortic dissection: when the wall of the aorta is torn, the person suffers a very sharp pain in the chest, severe back pain, and shortness of breath. This condition is a medical emergency of the first magnitude because even if adequately treated, it can cause death in a short time.
  • Arterial blockage: if the accumulation of plaque and cholesterol blocks your arteries, this pressure may appear in the chest with a feeling of suffocation, a condition called recurrent angina that must be adequately treated since the risk of suffering a heart attack is very high.
  • Pericarditis: it is the inflation of the membrane that covers the heart, generally by a viral or bacterial infection. In the following FastlyHealarticle you will find everything about pericarditis: causes, symptoms and treatment .

Tightness and shortness of breath from breathing problems

Airway problems can also lead to symptoms such as chest pain or tightness and shortness of breath. However, within this group of diseases and pathologies, we find very significant differences, both in nature and severity:

  • Pleurisy: it occurs when the membrane that covers the lungs becomes inflamed and is a condition that causes significant pain in the chest, through the thoracic area, at the same time that it is difficult to breathe and, when it is done, produces wheezing.
  • Asthma: It is a fairly common condition characterized by inflammation of the bronchial tubes under certain circumstances. The pressure in the chest and difficulty breathing are typically among the most frequent symptoms; the rest you can read in the article on asthma: symptoms, causes, and treatment.
  • Pulmonary embolism: caused by a blood clot that prevents the passage of blood to the lungs, can cause the same symptoms.
  • COPD: is the acronym for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, a condition whose main affected are smokers that manifests itself with chest pressure and the sensation of suffocation.
  • Pneumonia: as well as other infections, whether viral or bacterial, that affect the respiratory tract and make it difficult to breathe correctly, can result in these same symptoms.

Difficulty breathing from anxiety

The anxiety is nothing but the anticipation of fear, anger, or fear. This fear, which most of the time is usually imaginary, leads to a reaction of the body preparing itself to be able to fight it. In this way, breathing is accelerated, which can lead to hyperventilation. There is a feeling of suffocation in which the person feels that they cannot breathe; chest tightness is another of the recurring symptoms, and with sweating or dizziness. It is widespread for people with anxiety to have a feeling of emptiness in the chest.

The symptoms of a panic attack can be confused with those of a heart attack, something that only increases anxiety and its symptoms, creating a circle from which, only with relaxation techniques and breathing control, you can get out.

Other reasons why you have trouble breathing

In addition to respiratory problems, anxiety, and heart disease, many conditions of a very different nature can cause similar symptoms. Here we will explain some of the most common:

  • Trauma and injuries to the chest area.
  • Injury to the muscles, nerves, or tendons of the chest.
  • Very strenuous exercise and physical stress can also cause pressure in the chest and the feeling of not being able to breathe.
  • The allergic reactions, especially those with a respiratory origin, may lead to the onset of these symptoms.
  • There are some digestive issues, among which we find heartburn, ulcers, or problems in the gallbladder that cause tightness and shortness of breath.
  • If it is transient and after eating, it is very likely due to indigestion from eating too much or too much fat.

Symptoms associated with chest pressure and choking

It can be challenging for someone without medical knowledge to know if these symptoms are caused by simple indigestion or a heart attack so treatment can be delayed and the patient’s health worsens. That is why you should know which cases you should go to the doctor. Below we will explain some symptoms that may be associated with the conditions that we have mentioned previously so that, if you notice any of them, you go to the hospital quickly:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • The skin turns blue or pale.
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Excessive sweating
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Pain radiates to the jaw, arm, or shoulder blades.
  • Bad cough
  • Headaches
  • Fever, tremors, and chills
  • Fainting

There are also several aspects that you should take into account:

  • If the pain gets worse or gets better over time
  • If the pain increases when coughing, bending over or eating
  • If it has started suddenly or has been progressive
  • If you have arrived after exercising or resting
  • If the pressure is very intense or moderate
  • If relieved by taking anti-inflammatories.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to I, feel pressure in my chest and have trouble breathing: causes , we recommend that you enter our Lung and respiratory tract category .

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