Chest Pain Left Side Vs Right Side
The term chest pain can describe pain anywhere in the chest, but one common question with chest pain is if there is a difference between pain in the left side of the chest and the right side of the chest. This is because people typically associate only left side chest pain with a heart attack, as most people known that is where the heart is located.
However, left side chest pain doesnt always indicate a heart issue. Nor should right side chest pain be ignored. Heart attacks cause pain all over the bodyfrom the right side of the chest, to the left side of the chest and other places on the body, like the jaw.
Chest pain on the right side of the chest rarely signifies a heart issue–but that doesnt mean that right side chest pain isnt serious. There are several reasons behind chest pains on right side, some serious and others not as serious such as:
Only available in: CA, NY, TX, FL, IL, NC, PA, OH, MI, and WA
Common Symptoms For These People *:
* Approximation only. Some reports may have incomplete information.
What Other Problems Can Pneumonia Cause
Sometimes pneumonia can cause serious complications such as:
- Bacteremia, which happens when the bacteria move into the bloodstream. It is serious and can lead to .
- Lung abscesses, which are collections of pus in cavities of the lungs
- Pleural disorders, which are conditions that affect the pleura. The pleura is the tissue that covers the outside of the lungs and lines the inside of your chest cavity.
- Respiratory failure
Also Check: How Often Is A Pneumonia Shot Required
Symptoms Of Pain In The Lungs After Pneumonia
Patients are troubled by seizures that occur when inhaled and manifest as minor tingling, or acute attacks. These attacks can sometimes be accompanied by shortness of breath and palpitations. In this case, the degree of pain, depends on the severity of the disease, the speed and quality of its treatment.
The symptoms listed above most often indicate the presence of an adhesion process in the body.
Spikes are a pathological fusion of organs. Spikes are formed as a result of chronic infectious pathologies, as well as mechanical injuries or internal bleeding.
In a patient with pneumonia, adhesions can occur between the pleura sheets, one of which lining the lungs and the other – the thorax. When inflammation of the pleura or the flow of inflammation from the lungs to the pleura, the fibrin is released, gluing the pleura to each other. The area of the glued leaflets of the pleura is called spike.
Spikes are divided into two types – single and multiple. In critical cases, they envelop the pleura whole, causing its displacement and deformation and thus making breathing difficult. This pathology has a very severe course, sometimes aggravated by acute respiratory failure. Limited mobility of respiratory organs, frequent acute attacks of pain during breathing, the presence of mechanical obstruction – require immediate surgical intervention.
Doctors detect the presence of adhesions in the lung area by X-ray examination of the chest, CT or MRI of the thoracic cavity.
Left Side Chest Pain Can Be Caused By A Variety Of Conditions So It Is Important To Evaluate Your Symptoms To Determine If Your Pain Requires Medical Attention Learn Details Here
When a person starts feeling chest pain it’s likely that they will be concerned. Chest pain can be even more frightening because this side effect is often associated with a heart attack. In the event of a heart attack you will want to get medical attention as quickly as possible, but other symptoms that can cause chest pain may not require the same kind of emergency care. Knowing the signs of a heart attack and other likely causes of chest pain can help you narrow down if your situation is life threatening or not.
Don’t Miss: How Frequently Should You Get A Pneumonia Shot
What Are The Complications Of Pneumonia
Anyone can experience complications from pneumonia. However, people in high-risk groups are more likely to develop complications, including:
- Breathing difficulties: Pneumonia can make breathing difficult. Pneumonia plus an existing lung disorder can make breathing even more difficult. Breathing difficulties may require a hospital stay to receive oxygen therapy or breathing and healing assistance with the use of a breathing machine .
- Fluid buildup in the lungs : Pneumonia can cause a buildup in the fluid between the membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity. It is a serious condition that makes breathing difficult. Pleural effusion can be treated by draining excess fluid with a catheter, chest tube or by surgery.
- Bacteria in the bloodstream : The bacteria that cause pneumonia can leave your lungs and enter your bloodstream, spreading the infection to other organs. This condition is treated with antibiotics.
- Lung abscess. A lung abscess is a pus-filled cavity in the lung that is caused by a bacterial infection. It can be treated by draining the pus with a long needle or removing it by surgery.
Who Is Most At Risk For Getting Pneumonia
People who have an increased risk of pneumonia include:
- People over the age of 65 and infants under age 2. The weakening immune system of older people makes them less able to fight off illnesses. Similarly, the immune system of infants is still developing and not at full-strength, making them more susceptible to infection.
- People with a health-caused weakened immune system. Examples include:
- People who are receiving chemotherapy
- Transplanted organ recipients
- People who have HIV/AIDS
- People with autoimmune disease and who are taking medications that suppress the immune system.
You May Like: Can Vicks Vaporub Cause Pneumonia
Gerd /acid Reflux And Heartburn
Heartburn or GERD can be described as a burning sensation in the chest and behind the breastbone. The sensation can move up and down the throat and often is accompanied by a taste of food or a feeling of burning acid in the throat. This often happens after eating, especially if you eat large meals, consume alcohol with them/smoke and lie down too soon after eating.
Many people confuse this sensation with having a heart attack, since this can be uncomfortable and cause pain in the middle of the chest.
GERD is a common kind of chest pain during pregnancy, so if youre pregnant and you feel like your heart hurts, speak with your doctor to see if you have GERD.
Pain On The Left Side When To See A Doctor
As we have seen in this article, the causes of pain in the left side of your upper body, chest, and abdomen are varied. Dr. Jennifer Robinson on WebMD warns that chest pain or abdominal pain that persist and isnt helped by home remedies could be a sign of a serious health issue.34
You should see a doctor for pain and discomfort that you feel in your upper left chest or left abdomen if you also have one or more of these symptoms:
- You have tightness or a feeling of crushing pressure in the middle or left side of your chest.
- Pain in your chest or abdomen radiates to your arms, neck, jaw, back, or groin.
- Pain anywhere in your rib cage and under your breastbone comes on suddenly when you are resting.
- Along with the chest or abdominal pain, you have a rapid heartbeat, nausea, dizziness, or vomiting.
Recommended Reading: Pneumonia Vaccine 13 Vs 23
How Is Pneumonia Spread From Person To Person
Pneumonia is spread when droplets of fluid containing the pneumonia bacteria or virus are launched in the air when someone coughs or sneezes and then inhaled by others. You can also get pneumonia from touching an object previously touched by the person with pneumonia or touching a tissue used by the infected person and then touching your mouth or nose.
Why Can Other Conditions Cause Pain Near The Lungs
Pain in your chest or abdomen can sometimes feel like its coming from your lungs.
For example, if you experience muscle or bone damage around your chest, this may feel like the pain is originating in your lungs themselves.
Conditions involving other organs within the abdominal cavity may also result in pain around the lower end of your rib cage or in your chest. These conditions can include:
- yellow skin and eyes
If youre experiencing any of these symptoms, its important to see a doctor. These symptoms may be related to other underlying conditions. Still, finding the cause will help determine the correct diagnosis and treatment.
Your doctor will ask you to list:
- what youre feeling
- any medications youre taking
They will also perform a physical exam. The exam may include:
- listening to your heartbeat and breathing
- assessing your airflow
- checking your oxygen level
- feeling for tenderness in the painful area
Your doctor may also order one or more of the following diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your pain:
Also Check: Types Of Pneumonia That Are Contagious
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Although extensive, this list of possible causes of lung pain is not an exhaustive. This is why it’s important to make an appointment to see your healthcare provider, even if you feel there is an obvious reason for your pain.
For example, while chest wall tenderness is a hallmark feature of musculoskeletal chest pain, the presence of tenderness does not exclude a life-threatening cause like a heart attack or a blood clot in the lung.
Bacteremia And Septic Shock
If bacteria caused your pneumonia, they could get into your blood, especially if you didn’t see a doctor for treatment. It’s a problem called bacteremia.
Bacteremia can lead to a serious situation known as . It’s a reaction to the infection in your blood, and it can cause your blood pressure to drop to a dangerous level.
When your blood pressure is too low, your heart may not be able to pump enough blood to your organs, and they can stop working. Get medical help right away if you notice symptoms like:
Your doctor can test your mucus or the pus in your lungs to look for infection. They may also take an X-ray or a CT scan of your lungs.
Your doctor will likely treat your lung abscesses with antibiotics. They may do a procedure that uses a needle to remove the pus.
Also Check: Child Chest X Ray Pneumonia
How To Prepare For An Exercise Stress Test
Prior to your test, your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask about your complete medical history. At this point, tell your doctor about your symptoms, especially any chest pains or shortness of breath.
You should also tell your doctor about any conditions or symptoms that may make exercising difficult, such as stiff joints from arthritis.
Finally, let your doctor know if you have diabetes, because exercise affects blood sugar. If you do have diabetes, your doctor may want to monitor your blood glucose levels during the exercise test as well.
Your doctor will give you complete instructions about how to prepare.
What Does Pneumonia Feel Like
Not everyone feels the same when they have pneumonia, but there arecore signs you can look out for, such as feeling like you’re out of breath,generally feeling tired or sleepy and sharp, stabbing chest pain. Note, however,that “walking pneumonia” might not have obvious symptoms or justsymptoms of a common cold.
Recommended Reading: What Pneumonia Vaccine Should I Get
When Would I Need To Be Hospitalized For Pneumonia
If your case of pneumonia is more severe, you may need tostay in the hospital for treatment. Hospital treatments may include:
- Fluids, antibiotics and other medicines given through an IV
- Breathing treatments and exercises to help loosen mucus
People most likely to be hospitalized are those who are most frail and/or at increased risk, including:
- Babies and young children
- People with weakened immune systems
- People with health conditions that affect the heart and lungs
It may take six to eight weeks to return to a normal level of functioning and well-being if youve been hospitalized with pneumonia.
Is Pneumonia Treated Any Differently In Children
Essentially no. Just like adults, bacterial causes of pneumonia in children may be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics are not used to treat pneumonia caused by viruses. Flu-related pneumonia may be treated with antiviral medicine if caught early in the course of illness. Most cases of pneumonia are treated with comfort care measures that ease symptoms. These may include:
- Drinking more fluids.
- Getting more rest.
- Taking over-the-counter medicines for cough and acetaminophen for fever. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have any questions or concerns about giving medicines to your child.
- Using a cool mist humidifier in your childs room.
Also Check: What Are The Symptoms Of Bacterial Pneumonia
Left Side Chest Pain: Causes And When To See A Doctor
Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer Health
Left side chest pain is very often caused by serious medical conditions related to your heart. Although there can be other reasons for non-cardiac chest pain on the left side, you should never ignore any kind of chest pain. You dont always have to experience sharp stabbing pains in the chest to be concerned. Sometimes, cardiac left side chest pain can be a dull, constant pain or it could feel like tightness or a squeezing feeling in your chest.
Some of the causes of cardiac left side chest pain are narrowed arteries due to a buildup of plaque, angina, a shortage of blood supply to the heart , and a heart attack. The reason that heart-related pain occurs on the left side of your chest is because the location of your heart is just behind the breastbone, but the largest part of the heart is in the left part of your chest. This is the strongest part of your heart which pumps oxygen-rich blood back to the body.
There are also non-heart related reasons for chest pain in the left side and some of these causes are due to infections, stress, injury, or nerve damage. Usually, non-cardiac chest pain hurts when you breathe or cough.
In this article, you will find the answers to what could be causing left side chest pains and when they become serious enough to call a doctor. First of all, lets look at the difference between cardiac and non-cardiac chest pain.
What May Be Advised To Help Manage The Problem
This will depend on the cause that is found for your chest pain. Follow the links above to the separate leaflets for more information about the treatment for the different causes.
If the problem is not an emergency, your doctor may refer you to a consultant for further specialist investigations, as described above.
Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If You Are Getting Pneumonia
How Is Pneumonia Diagnosed
Sometimes pneumonia can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are so variable, and are often very similar to those seen in a cold or influenza. To diagnose pneumonia, and to try to identify the germ that is causing the illness, your doctor will ask questions about your medical history, do a physical exam, and run some tests.
Your doctor will ask you questions about your signs and symptoms, and how and when they began. To help figure out if your infection is caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, you may be asked some questions about possible exposures, such as:
- Any recent travel
- Exposure to other sick people at home, work or school
- Whether you have recently had another illness
Your doctor will listen to your lungs with a stethoscope. If you have pneumonia, your lungs may make crackling, bubbling, and rumbling sounds when you inhale.
If your doctor suspects you may have pneumonia, they will probably recommend some tests to confirm the diagnosis and learn more about your infection. These may include:
- Blood tests to confirm the infection and to try to identify the germ that is causing your illness.
- Chest X-ray to look for the location and extent of inflammation in your lungs.
- Pulse oximetry to measure the oxygen level in your blood. Pneumonia can prevent your lungs from moving enough oxygen into your bloodstream.
- Sputum test on a sample of mucus taken after a deep cough, to look for the source of the infection.
Other Causes Of Chest Pain On Left Side
Due to the high concentration of organs in the chest there are a number of issues which can lead to chest pain:
1. Heart pain/Angina. In addition to having a heart attack, heart pain can be caused by angina, a condition which is caused when normal blood flow is limited due to the harrowing of the arteries. When it gets difficult for the blood to flow, you may feel a tightness or sharp pain similar to a muscle cramp on the left side. This may be more common or more pronounced after physical activity where the heart is beating faster.
2. Stress and unhealthy lifestyle. Stress can also lead to chest pain. You may feel tightness in the chest which becomes worse or agitated during periods of extreme stress. Poor lifestyle choices can also lead to conditions which put excessive pressure on the heart or cause the arteries to tighten, causing pain on the left side of the chest. These include diabetes, obesity or excessive intake of alcohol or tobacco. If left unchecked, these issues can lead to severe cardiac issues including a heart attack.
3. Intestinal trouble. Sometimes intestinal trouble will cause pain in the chest. Gas pushing its way up through the intestines can cause pain on the left side of the chest. Heartburn or severe digestive disorders can also cause chest pain when symptoms flare. If classic signs of a heart attack do not accompany this pain then it is likely that you are experiencing something other than cardiac dysfunction.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Get Strep Pneumonia