Pain in the lower left side of chest

Chest pain on left side: Causes, diagnosis, and treatments

A person should never ignore chest pain. If a person is experiencing chest pain on the left side of their body, this could indicate a heart attack or other medical conditions, such as a lung problem or inflammation of the lining around a person’s heart.

This article will cover the potential causes and symptoms of chest pain on the left side.

A person with chest pain on the left side may be experiencing lung problems.

It can be difficult to identify whether chest pain is a sign of a heart attack.

However, there are three indications that chest pain may not be a heart attack:

  • Specific location: If pain is coming from one particular place, it is not likely to be a heart attack.
  • Worsening pain: Chest pain associated with a heart attack does not get worse when breathing.
  • Varying locations: Chest pain associated with a heart attack may spread between the shoulder blades, and into the arms and jaw, but it does not move from one side to the other.

If a person thinks they may be experiencing a heart attack, they should call 911 and seek immediate medical attention. They should not attempt to drive themselves to the hospital.

Signs a person may be having a heart attack include:

  • chest pain or tightness that typically starts in the center of the chest and radiates outward
  • dizziness
  • feeling faint
  • nausea
  • pain that may extend from the chest to the arms, neck, jaw, or shoulders
  • shortness of breath
  • sweating

Women are more likely than men to experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and pain in the back or jaw.

Learn more about chest pain in women here.

Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are common causes of left-sided chest pain.

These conditions occur when acid comes up from the stomach into the esophagus.

The result is a burning sensation across the chest that may occur on one side or the other.

Other symptoms may include:

  • a burning feeling in the chest
  • difficulty swallowing
  • a sour taste in the mouth

An esophageal tear or rupture is a medical emergency that may cause non-cardiac chest pain.

The condition occurs when the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach tears. This enables food or fluids from the mouth to leak into the chest and around the lungs.

Symptoms of an esophageal rupture include:

  • faster breathing
  • chest pain
  • fever
  • nausea
  • vomiting, including vomiting blood

Sometimes a person may experience this type of injury after extreme vomiting or experiencing physical trauma around the esophagus.

There are many types of injury to soft tissue or bones in the chest that can cause left-sided chest pain. An example could be a broken rib or costochondritis, which is inflammation of the cartilage surrounding a rib.

If a person has experienced some form of trauma, such as a fall or a car accident, these injuries may lead to chest pain.

Some signs that a musculoskeletal injury has occurred include:

  • hearing or feeling a cracking sensation related to the ribs
  • pain that usually worsens when breathing
  • swelling or tenderness at a specific area
  • visible bruising

Pericarditis is a medical condition that results from inflammation in the pericardium, which is the tissue that holds the heart.

The layers usually glide against each other effortlessly, allowing the heart to beat. However, if the layers become inflamed, a person may experience left-sided chest pain.

Additional pericarditis symptoms include:

  • coughing
  • fatigue
  • heart palpitations or occasional rapid heart rate
  • leg swelling
  • low-grade fever
  • sharp chest pain that is usually worse when taking a breath in
  • shortness of breath

A person may often experience pericarditis after an illness, such as an upper respiratory infection.

Pleurisy is a condition where the tissues around the lungs become inflamed. This can cause pain in the chest, especially when breathing.

Other symptoms may include:

  • a dry cough
  • shortness of breath
  • pain in the shoulder

A variety of conditions may lead to pleurisy, such as flu or bacterial infections.

A pneumothorax is a collapsed lung.

This can occur spontaneously, collapsing a small portion of the lung or the lung in almost its entirety.

Symptoms of a pneumothorax include:

  • becoming easily fatigued
  • breathing that becomes more painful when taking a deep breath or coughing
  • a rapid heart rate
  • shortness of breath
  • a sudden, sharp chest pain
  • tightness in the chest

If the pneumothorax is very large, a person may require the insertion of a chest tube to re-inflate the lung and help keep it open while the lung heals.

Left-sided chest pain has many potential causes.

A doctor will consider a person’s medical history and symptoms when making a diagnosis. A doctor may also perform a physical examination on the chest, heart, lungs, neck, and abdomen.

After the physical exam, a doctor may order a variety of tests, including:

  • an ECG
  • an X-ray
  • a complete blood count (CBC)
  • a computed tomography pulmonary angiography (CTPA)
  • an ultrasound

Treatments for left-sided chest pain depend upon the underlying cause.

For gastrointestinal pain such as GERD, the treatment typically includes medications, including proton pump inhibitors, h3 blockers, and promotility agents.

Inflammation due to pericarditis or pleurisy may involve administering antibiotics and resting until the tissue lining has had time to heal.

A person may require surgery to treat pneumothorax and esophageal ruptures.

If a person can pinpoint chest pain on their left side, it is less likely that a heart attack is the underlying cause.

However, several conditions may be medical emergencies, such as esophageal rupture and pneumothorax.

If a person’s symptoms are severe or they are having trouble breathing, they should seek immediate medical attention.

Read the article in Spanish.

15 Causes and When to Seek Emergency Help

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If you have chest pain on the left side, your first thought may be that you’re having a heart attack. While chest pain can indeed be a symptom of heart problems, that’s not always the case.

Keep reading to learn more about the causes of pain in the left side of the chest, the accompanying symptoms, suggestions for actions you can take to address each, and other signs of a heart disease or heart attack,

Chest pain, or chest heaviness, in general is a concern for heart attack or other life-threatening condition for which every minute matters. Call 911 or your local emergency services if you or someone near you has unexplained left sided or generalized chest pain along with:

  • feeling of pressure or tightening of the chest
  • shooting pain, which is especially concerning down the left arm, left side of the neck, and left side of the jaw
  • breathing difficulties
  • weakness, lightheadedness, or dizziness
  • nausea or vomiting
  • chest heaviness

Several conditions can cause pain in the left side of your chest. They range from benign to potentially life threatening. If you’re ever in doubt about the potential cause of the pain in the left side of your chest, you should seek emergency medical services immediately.

Below are some common causes of left sided chest pain.

Angina isn’t a disease. Instead, it’s often a symptom of coronary heart disease, though other heart conditions may also cause it to occur. Angina is the chest pain, chest heaviness, discomfort, or pressure you get when your heart muscle isn’t getting enough oxygen from blood. The pain and discomfort typically include your left arm, left shoulder, left side of your neck, and left side of your jaw. You might also have discomfort in your back.

It’s crucial that the underlying condition is properly diagnosed and treated. Diagnostic testing may include:

  • blood tests
  • electrocardiogram (EKG)
  • stress test
  • echocardiogram
  • angiogram/cardiac catheterization

Treatment will depend on the cause, and may include medication, lifestyle changes, and cardiac procedures as necessary.

A heart attack is when the heart muscle is damaged because it can’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. Some heart attacks start with mild chest pain that builds up slowly. They can also start quite abruptly, with intense pain on the left side or center of your chest. Other symptoms of heart attack can include:

  • tightening, squeezing, or crushing pressure in your chest
  • pain in your left arm, though it can also occur in your right arm
  • shooting pain in your neck, jaw, back, or stomach
  • shortness of breath
  • heartburn, nausea, or vomiting
  • lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness

Heart attack symptoms in women

Symptoms of heart attack vary from person to person. Both men and women can experience chest pain or discomfort, gassiness or heartburn, shortness of breath, or pain and discomfort in the shoulders, arms, neck, or jaw. However, women are more likely to experience:

  • unusual tiredness
  • nausea
  • lightheadedness

If you or someone near you experiences these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention. With a heart attack, every second counts. The longer the heart muscle is deprived of oxygen, the greater the chances that the damage will be permanent.

Emergency care can begin as soon as medical personnel arrive. After a hospital stay, you may need to continue medication. Lifestyle modifications can include:

  • a heart-healthy diet
  • some daily exercise
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • not smoking

Myocarditis is a rare cause of cardiovascular disease that is caused by inflammation in the heart. Doctors often cannot identify a cause, but when they can, the cause is typically an viral infection.

Chest pain can be an indication that your heart muscle is inflamed. Other symptoms include:

  • shortness of breath
  • abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
  • fatigue

Myocarditis can affect your heart’s electrical system, weakening your heart or causing permanent damage to the heart muscle. In some cases, a person can experience cardiac arrest or death.

Mild cases sometimes improve without treatment, but severe cases may require medication. Treatment depends on the cause.

Cardiomyopathy is a disease of the heart muscle or enlarged heart. It’s possible to have cardiomyopathy without symptoms, but it can also cause chest pain. Other symptoms can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness or fainting
  • heart palpitations
  • fatigue
  • swelling of your ankles, feet, legs, hands, or abdomen

Treatment involves medications, cardiac procedures, and surgery. Certain lifestyle changes may help, too. These can include:

  • reducing salt intake
  • maintaining a moderate weight
  • avoiding alcohol
  • engaging in light to moderate exercise on a regular basis

The pericardium is the two thin layers of tissue that surround your heart to help keep it in place. When this area becomes inflamed or irritated, it’s known as pericarditis.

Pericarditis can cause a sharp stabbing pain on the left side or middle of your chest. You might also have pain in one or both shoulders.

You may experience pericarditis due to infections, heart surgery, heart attack, injury, or medications.

It may be mild and even clear up on its own, but it can sometimes lead to heart abnormalities that can be fatal. Treatment depends on the underlying cause.

Panic attacks come on abruptly and tend to peak within 10 minutes. Due to chest pain, chest tightness, and other symptoms, a panic attack can simulate a heart attack. In addition to chest pain, some other symptoms are:

  • shortness of breath
  • rapid heartbeat
  • shakiness or dizziness
  • sweating, hot flashes, or chills
  • nausea
  • feelings of unreality or detachment
  • feeling as though you might choke
  • intense fear or sense of doom

If you think you’ve had a panic attack, see a doctor. Other health problems, such as heart and thyroid disorders, can produce similar symptoms, so you want to be certain of the diagnosis.

How to ease a panic attack

Panic disorder is a mental health problem that can be treated. Your doctor may recommend psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. If it’s an ongoing problem, there are some medications that might help.

In order to ease a panic attack, you might find it helpful to:

  • practice stress management and relaxation techniques
  • join a support group
  • stay away from caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs
  • engage in regular physical activity
  • make sure you get a full night’s sleep every night

Heartburn is the chest pain and discomfort you get when digestive acid flows up into your esophagus (acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux). You might also have:

  • a burning sensation in your upper abdomen and chest
  • sour or metallic taste in your mouth
  • stomach contents flowing up to the back of your throat

Heartburn generally happens fairly soon after you’ve eaten. It can also happen when you lie down within a few hours of eating. It can even wake you from a sound sleep.

Acid reflux can sometimes progress to a more severe form called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The main symptom of GERD is frequent heartburn. In addition to chest pain, GERD can also cause coughing, wheezing, and trouble swallowing.

Treating heartburn

You can usually ease heartburn with over-the-counter antacids. A doctor can prescribe a stronger medication if necessary. If you have frequent heartburn, it might help to:

  • eat smaller meals
  • avoid fried or fatty foods
  • eat slowly
  • avoid alcohol and tobacco
  • maintain a moderate weight
  • don’t eat food before bed
  • avoid other foods that may be a trigger to you

A hiatal hernia is when the upper part of your stomach pushes through the large muscle between your abdomen and chest (diaphragm). Symptoms can include:

  • chest pain
  • abdominal pain
  • heartburn
  • regurgitation of food into your mouth

You can ease symptoms by:

  • eating smaller meals
  • avoiding foods that trigger heartburn
  • not lying down after eating
  • elevating the head of your bed

You may not need any treatment, but see a doctor if symptoms persist.

Chest pain can mean that there’s something wrong with your esophagus. For example:

  • An esophageal muscle spasm can mimic the same type of chest pain as a heart attack.
  • The lining of your esophagus can become inflamed (esophagitis), causing burning or sharp chest pain. Esophagitis can also cause pain after meals, swallowing problems, and blood in your vomit or stools.
  • An esophageal rupture, or tear, lets food leak into your chest cavity, causing mild to severe chest pain. It can also lead to nausea, vomiting, and rapid breathing.

Treatment depends on cause. An esophageal rupture must be surgically repaired.

Chest pain can be the result of pulled, strained, or sprained muscles in your chest or between the ribs. Any injury to your chest can cause chest pain. This includes:

  • bruising of your chest wall
  • fractured breastbone (sternum)
  • fractured ribs

This type of injury may also cause pain when you take a deep breath or cough.

If you believe you’ve broken a bone, see a doctor right away. It can take about 10 weeks to improve and even longer to fully recover. In the meantime, you’ll have to avoid strenuous activity.

Sudden and sharp pain on either side of your chest could be the result of a collapsed lung (pneumothorax). This can be due to disease or from trauma to your chest. Other symptoms can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • rapid breathing or heartbeat
  • skin turning blue
  • dry cough
  • fatigue

Treatment will depend on the cause, but it’s important to seek medical help immediately.

Sharp or stabbing chest pain that worsens when you take a deep breath or cough could mean you have pneumonia, especially if you’ve recently had a respiratory illness such as bronchitis or influenza.

Other symptoms may include:

  • cough, sometimes with mucus
  • fever, chills, or shaking
  • shortness of breath
  • headache
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue

See a doctor if you think you have pneumonia. In the meantime, get plenty of rest and drink a lot of fluids. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antivirals. In severe cases, hospitalization may be necessary.

Chest pain can sometimes be a symptom of lung cancer. Other and symptoms may include:

  • intense coughing, coughing up mucus or blood
  • pain in your shoulder or back, unrelated to pain from coughing
  • shortness of breath
  • recurring bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia
  • loss of appetite or unexplained weight loss

Symptoms may not appear in early stage lung cancer. In general, the sooner you receive a diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome.

Pulmonary hypertension is high blood pressure in your lungs. In addition to chest pain, it can cause:

  • dizziness or fainting
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of energy

As the disease progresses, it can lead to irregular heartbeat and racing pulse. Untreated, it can lead to heart failure.

A sudden, sharp chest pain can be an indication of pulmonary embolism (PE). PE is a blood clot in your lungs. Other symptoms may include:

  • back pain
  • lightheadedness
  • bluish tone to lips
  • excessive sweating
  • dizziness
  • coughing
  • shortness of breath

This is a medical emergency that calls for immediate treatment.

Several conditions share symptoms that include chest pain. If you have chest pain for no known reason, consult with a doctor so you can start working toward a diagnosis.

Sudden chest pain accompanied by symptoms such as trouble breathing, pressure on your chest, and dizziness could signal a life-threatening emergency. Get help immediately.

Chest pain - causes, symptoms and diagnosis, indications for seeking medical attention

Almost everyone perceives chest pain as a potential heart problem. However, there can be many reasons for discomfort. In any case, it is impossible to determine on your own what caused the discomfort. Only a qualified doctor can determine the cause.

Wrong diagnosis, lack of treatment, uncontrolled attempts to anesthetize the place of discomfort often lead to the development of severe pathologies.

To make sure that the pain is not a sign of a serious illness or to choose a treatment for an identified pathology, it is better to visit a doctor. Causes of pain can be caused by diseases of the heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract and neurological problems. If you do not know which doctor to make an appointment with first of all, come to the Kutuzov Medical and Diagnostic Center. We have all the experts who will help you make an accurate diagnosis. Start by making an appointment with a therapist and follow his instructions.

Such different chest pains

Thoracalgia is a term for chest pain (from the words "torax" - chest and "algia" - pain).

It can hurt, both on one side of the chest, and in the middle, in the upper or lower part. The nature of the pain is:

  • Pungent and burning.
  • Dull and aching.
  • Stab.
  • Compressive.

Among the main causes of a disturbing symptom in the chest are diseases, injuries and pathologies:

  • Heart and vessels.
  • Lungs.
  • Musculoskeletal system - muscles, ribs and spine.
  • Nervous system
  • Gastrointestinal tract.

Let's dwell on them in more detail.

Heart problems

Pain in the chest in the middle or in its left side occurs in various diseases of the heart:

  • coronary artery disease, angina pectoris - impaired blood flow in the heart arteries. Often an attack of sharp pain lasts up to 15 minutes. Occurs during physical exertion, stress, excitement, disappears after rest.
  • Myocardial infarction - cell death and scarring of the heart muscle. It is characterized by severe pain in the chest on the left and in the middle, which does not go away after 15-20 minutes. Additional symptoms include weakness, fear of death.
  • Pericarditis or myocarditis is an inflammatory process in the muscle or lining of the heart. They are characterized by acute or aching pain in the chest when inhaling in the middle of the chest, which are aggravated by eating or lying down.
  • Mitral valve prolapse - in addition to chest pain, it causes shortness of breath, dizziness, up to fainting.
  • Pulmonary hypertension - increased pressure in the pulmonary arteries, the attack is similar to a heart attack.

A characteristic feature of heart pain is that it often occurs against the background of emotional or physical stress, accompanied by a feeling of panic, fear of death.

Lung diseases

This is a common cause of chest discomfort. Main causes and characteristic symptoms:

  • Inflammation or abscess of the lung - the process proceeds with severe pain in the chest (right or both parts of the chest), fever, cough.
  • Pleurisy (inflammation of the pleura) - there is pain with a deep breath, usually accompanied by fever, cough.
  • Thromboembolism of the pulmonary artery with a blood clot - there is a sharp pain in the chest, tachycardia, difficulty breathing.
  • Pneumothorax - accumulation of air in the pleural cavity when the lungs are damaged due to injuries of the ribs, spine. There is pain when inhaling, shortness of breath, dry cough, blood pressure may decrease.
  • Bronchial asthma - acute spasms resolve with chest pain and wheezing, wet cough, bouts of shortness of breath

Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract

Major diseases that cause pain in the esophagus or may spread from the abdomen to the chest area:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) - irritation of the esophageal mucosa due to reflux of gastric contents.
  • Dyskinesia or perforation of the esophagus - increased pressure in the esophagus due to the slow movement of food or rupture due to injury.
  • Gastric ulcers.

Gastrointestinal diseases are characterized by pain that occurs before, after or during meals, and may be accompanied by heartburn and other symptoms.

Injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system

Thoracalgia appears due to injuries, diseases of the spine, aggravated after physical exertion. Main causes and symptoms:

  • Osteochondrosis, herniation and protrusion of the intervertebral discs in the thoracic spine, scoliosis cause chest pain, which is aggravated by movement or prolonged immobility.
  • Rib fractures.
  • Muscle spasms, sprains, intercostal neuralgia - cause pain in the chest on the right or left, depending on the place where the pathology has arisen.
  • Tietze's syndrome or inflammation of the costocartilaginous joints.
  • Pain of a neurological nature - from "goosebumps" in the chest to severe pain occurs due to mental disorders, with panic attacks.

Pain in the right or left side of the chest may have other causes: neoplasms in the lungs or breast, shingles and other diseases.

The doctor's task is to make a diagnosis in time and correctly. This will help: heart examinations, ultrasound, radiography and other diagnostic procedures.

Medical emergency needed if:

  • Acute chest pain does not improve after 15 minutes and after rest.
  • There is dizziness, shortness of breath, increased sweating, palpitations.

In other cases, it is also advisable not to postpone the consultation with the doctor for a long time. Who to contact - a cardiologist, a neurologist, a gastroenterologist - depends on the symptoms. But this is not always possible to determine independently. In this case, start with a consultation with a therapist who will help you understand the issue and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist.

In other cases, it is also advisable not to postpone the consultation with a doctor for a long time. Who to contact - a cardiologist, a neurologist, a gastroenterologist - depends on the symptoms. But this is not always possible to determine independently. In this case, start with a consultation with a therapist who will help you understand the issue and, if necessary, refer you to a specialist. Be healthy!

Diagnosis of any disease requires modern equipment and vast medical experience. Especially when it comes to chest pain.

Our clinic offers its patients a full range of medical examinations on high-precision equipment. Our doctors select the most informative and safe diagnostic methods.

Turning to us, you can be sure that the cause of the pain will be established as quickly and accurately as possible. High-tech diagnostic devices allow you to monitor the work of all organs and systems without causing you unnecessary discomfort.

We value the time of our patients, so all consultations and procedures are by appointment. By booking an appointment, you can be sure that the doctor will be waiting for you. Come to the clinic to find out the cause of pain and discuss treatment options.

Chest pain treatment prices



Reception (examination, consultation) of a general practitioner primary 2200 ₽


Repeated appointment (examination, consultation) with a general practitioner 1900 ₽


Publication checked:

Pilenitsyn Andrey Yurievich

Experience: 24 years old

Cardiologist of the highest qualification category, general practitioner

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causes of heaviness in the chest

Chest pain can be caused by various reasons: diseases of the cardiovascular, respiratory or endocrine system, diseases of the stomach, spine, intercostal neuralgia, panic attack, autonomic dysfunction. Some of them are unpleasant, but not dangerous, others are a threat to life. But if it hurts in the heart area and it's hard to breathe, you need medical help.


Chest pain and shortness of breath can occur:

  • myocardial ischemia - it can occur in a person who has not previously complained of diseases of the cardiovascular system after physical exertion, stress, if not helped, may develop a heart attack;
  • in case of a heart attack - similar symptoms often appear in people suffering from heart disease, an urgent need to take the medicine recommended by the doctor;
  • with asthma - the main symptom that bothers the patient is suffocation, it seems that the chest is squeezing, an urgent need to take medicine to relieve asthma attacks;
  • with pulmonary embolism - the patient feels short of breath due to blockage of the trunk or branches of the pulmonary artery, the mucous membranes and skin become pale with a bluish tinge, an ambulance should be urgently called or the person taken to the hospital.

Myocardial ischemia

With a chronic lack of oxygen, the muscle tissue of the heart - the myocardium - is destroyed. Some people feel chest pain and complain that it is difficult to breathe. Others do not feel any unpleasant symptoms for a long time or feel rare pricks in the chest. But the disease is progressing. After physical exertion or stress, a sharp deterioration in the condition may occur: myocardial infarction, death.

Ischemic diseases are a common cause of sudden death. You need to visit a cardiologist regularly for people who:

  • are overweight;
  • lead a sedentary lifestyle;
  • suffer from arterial hypertension, diabetes;
  • smoke, abuse alcohol.

If myocardial damage is diagnosed, medical or surgical treatment is prescribed: bypass surgery, coronary angioplasty. The patient should be observed by a cardiologist, follow a diet and a physical activity regimen recommended by the doctor, give up bad habits (you can use Nicorette tablets, sprays).

Heart attack

People suffering from myocardial ischemia may develop a heart attack, when the pain and heaviness in the chest becomes very strong, it is difficult to breathe. The condition is rapidly deteriorating. Up to 45% of people who have not received effective medical care die within 15 minutes.

The pathological process develops in four stages:

  • acute - acute pain appears, strong heartbeat, chills, pallor;
  • necrosis - the muscle tissue of the heart dies;
  • subacute - the most dangerous stage, it is difficult for the patient to breathe, his temperature rises, he experiences severe fear, coordination of movements is disturbed;
  • scarring - the manifestations of dangerous symptoms are reduced, a scar is formed.

A heart attack may develop unexpectedly, but more often it is preceded by heaviness in the chest, shortness of breath, aching or stabbing pain. Even if the chest pricks no more than 1-2 times a month, you need to see a cardiologist, do an ECG.

Cardiac asthma

Cardiac asthma - asthma attacks that occur against the background of pathologies in the left side of the heart. It develops in patients suffering from heart defects, cardiosclerosis, ischemic disease, glomerulonephritis. With these diseases, blood circulation in the pulmonary circulation is disturbed. Pulmonary edema develops. X-rays of patients show that the volume of the heart is enlarged, and the tissues of the lungs contain fluid.

Seizures may begin for no apparent reason. The patient, waking up during day or night rest, feels pressure in the chest, he is seized with fear. But breathing problems can also arise due to stress, when playing sports, physical work, trying to catch up with outgoing vehicles.

How to relieve an attack?

A person should not be left alone during an attack of cardiac asthma. You need to calm him down, prevent panic, which will put an additional burden on the cardiovascular system. When there is pressure in the chest, it is difficult to breathe, you do not need to put a person to bed, on the contrary, air passes better into the lungs in a standing position. It is enough to support the patient, give him something to lean on, open a window, provide fresh air.

An attack may last a few minutes or 2-3 hours. With a prolonged lack of oxygen, the veins in the neck and arms swell, the skin acquires a gray tint, and pressure drops. The attack is stopped by taking Nitroglycerin or similar antianginal agents. The hospital uses oxygen concentrates, stationary devices for supplying oxygen to the lungs, respiratory analeptics.

Pulmonary embolism

Thromboembolism is the blockage of blood vessels by a thrombus, which causes life-threatening disorders in the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. The condition may worsen gradually or rapidly, when the symptoms of suffocation appear within 10-15 minutes after the onset of heaviness in the chest. Pulmonary embolism is the cause of 0.1% of deaths.

Patients with a tendency to form blood clots are advised to use venotonics and be sure to see a doctor:

  • in violation of blood flow - with varicose veins or squeezing of blood vessels by tumors, in patients suffering from phlebothrombosis, when the valves of the veins are destroyed;
  • for blood clotting disorders - after injuries, operations, when drugs are prescribed to increase clotting, installation of intravascular catheters.


Taking good care of your health can help prevent life-threatening conditions. A doctor should be consulted at the first alarming symptoms, which may be mild: short-term sharp pain, periodic injections in the chest, on the left or in the middle, a feeling that occurs after stress or physical exertion that squeezed the chest. You should also consult a doctor if you need to be examined if it is difficult for you to breathe deeply.

If the condition worsens, these symptoms are accompanied by tinnitus, visual disturbances (double vision), discoloration of the skin and mucous membranes (pallor, gray or blue tint), fever, weakness, vomiting. Possible severe cough, sputum with blood. With these symptoms, you need to call an ambulance.

First aid

If a person has a prick in the region of the heart, squeezes the chest, you need to give him first aid. Such symptoms may indicate the development of deadly diseases in people who have not previously complained of pain in the heart.

An ambulance should be called if:

  • a person has difficulty breathing and cannot take a deep breath;
  • the temperature rises sharply above 38 degrees;
  • there is a sharp pain in the left or in the middle of the chest, which cannot be tolerated;
  • there is a strong cough, sputum, blood;
  • skin, mucous membranes turn pale, acquire a gray or blue tint;
  • increased perspiration;
  • coordination of movements is disturbed, the patient complains of tinnitus, double vision, severe headache;
  • the person loses consciousness, speech becomes slurred or inadequate.

What to do before the ambulance arrives?

When there is pressure in the chest, there is a strong pain in the heart, breathing is disturbed, many feel great fear, turning into panic. Muscle tone increases, which makes breathing even more difficult. Do not leave the person himself, speak to him in a calm, confident voice, do not show your concern, keep him from sudden movements.

Provide free access to fresh air. If the room is stuffy, open the window. If the attack happened on the street on a hot sunny day - take him to the shade or to a cool room.

If breathing is difficult, chest tight, heart hurts - do not lay the person on his back or stomach. It is better to offer him a semi-sitting position, and for those suffering from cardiac asthma - vertical.

To relieve acute heart pain, you can put a Nitroglycerin tablet under the tongue. If diseases of the cardiovascular system were diagnosed earlier, you need to take the medicines prescribed by the doctor to relieve acute attacks.


A cardiologist cannot determine why the heart hurts based on the patient's complaints, examination, pressure measurement, pulse rate. Diseases have similar symptoms. Patients do not always accurately describe the nature and location of pain. In heart disease, it can be felt on the left or in the middle, in the back, in the left forearm or in the stomach.

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