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Answer to your Health Question

Question (02/04/2011):

My chest is blocked and painful when I cough and I sometimes run out of breath while coughing this mostly happens at night and I find it hard to sleep.

Answer:

Causes of chest pain can vary from minor problems, such as indigestion or stress, to serious medical emergencies, such as a heart attack or pulmonary embolism. The specific cause of chest pain is often difficult to interpret.

Finding the cause of your chest pain can be challenging, especially if you've never had symptoms in the past.

Angina signs and symptoms include:

- Chest pain or discomfort
- Pain in your arms, neck, jaw, shoulder or back accompanying chest pain
- Nausea
- Fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Anxiety
- Sweating
- Dizziness

The severity, duration and type of angina can vary. If you have new or changing chest pain, these new or different symptoms may signal a more dangerous form of angina (unstable angina) or a heart attack.

Signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism include:

- Sudden, sharp chest pain that begins or worsens with a deep breath or a cough, often accompanied by shortness of breath
- Sudden, unexplained shortness of breath, even without pain
- Cough that may produce blood-streaked sputum
- Rapid heartbeat
- Fainting
- Anxiety
- Sweating

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disorder which is characterized by inflammation or swelling in the airways. The inflammation makes breathing difficult and also makes the person susceptible to allergic reactions.

When a person has an asthmatic attack, symptoms like shortness of breathing, wheezing, dry cough and chest pain are observed.

Bronchitis is also a respiratory disease which is caused when the bronchi (or branches) of the trachea get inflamed due to bacterial or viral infection.

Allergic reactions, exposure to industrial pollutants and smoke are the significant causes of bronchitis. Apart from cough and chest pain, slight fever, shortness of breath, headache and blocked nose are the symptoms of bronchitis.

All of these symptoms are observed in case of acute as well as chronic bronchitis

Pneumonia is also a respiratory disorder characterized by inflammation in the lungs caused due to viral or bacterial infection. It is often confused with bronchitis.

However, between bronchitis vs pneumonia, only a medical practitioner can tell the exact difference. Fever, shortness of breath, mucus producing cough and chest pain are the symptoms of pneumonia.



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